Earlier in the year we were approached by long-time friend and amazing First Nations artist Lisa Sorbie Martin to be part of a project called the Legacy Mural for Gold Coast Youth Foyer. GCYF supports young people who are experiencing homelessness or disadvantage on the Gold Coast through housing and support services. When Lisa asked us to be part of the process, we jumped at the chance to get involved with a great organisation doing such great things.
Still in its infancy, GCYF were looking for ways to make their outdoor communal area more welcoming and vibrant. They wanted the space to be used as a hang out hub, a place where residents could relax and feel at home.
Our role in the project was to partner with Lisa to facilitate discovery workshops with the residents, co-create the mural concept, and to bring our extensive experience in mural installationto ensure a smooth execution.
This project needed to be more than just a typical mural. It needed to be a legacy piece that represented the original group of residents that GCYF welcomed; to act as a mark in time, a celebration of what the foyer brings to the lives of its young folk, and as a message to new residents as they enter GCYF for the first time. In order to do all that, we needed to capture the personalities, feelings and experiences of the current residents. Our method of choice was co-creation.We did this through meet & greets and workshops which were all about bringing emotions to the surface, group-led discussion, and turning insights into visual representations through symbolism, patternation and mark-making.
Representation was another key aspect of the project we really needed to get right, especially in regards to First Nations culture and acknowledgement to country. As a proud Torre Strait Islander and cultural advocate, Lisa steered our ship in these waters, helping our team navigate group discussions and lean into her expertise and experience.
We didn't want co-creation and representation to merely be part of the process, we also sought a way to honour them in the final mural concept. We landed on a layered design that features original drawings and markings from Lisa, us and GCYF residents, and utilises three different forms of communication to convey it's message (through colour, pictures and the written word).
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