Junior School undersea mural

Junior School Wednesday, 04 Oct 2023

Bundaberg Christian College (BCC) Junior School students were greeted with a spectacular undersea mural when they returned to school for term four.

The vibrant display of coral, fish and turtles was created by Bundaberg artist Paul Perry and based on original artwork from Cairns-based Indigenous artist Melanie Hava.

Paul Perry worked with BCC’s Reef Guardian students to paint the mural and involved the wider Bundaberg community who were invited to pick up a brush at the recent BCC Festival.

Artist Paul Perry said when he saw the original artwork by Melanie Hava he thought it emanated joy.

“For me, this artwork is about fun, fascination with the undersea and the colourfulness of God’s creation.,“ he said.

“I love the sea, I love what’s under it, and there is still so much of it to explore.

“Not many people get to see it and I hope this mural creates a lot of excitement for the kids and give them some sort of inkling of what they might be able to explore in the future.

“As Reef Guardians, it’s also important to have the ocean embedded in our thinking and to understand that what we do on the land affects the sea.

“The ocean is part of our local environment and it’s good to draw people’s attention to it.

“So for me, working in this environment is very comfortable and throughout the process, I enjoyed working with students and the wider community, including at the BCC Festival.

“The original artwork was not large enough to span the wall space we had to work with, so I did a lot of thinking and planning around how I could adapt it to cover the whole wall.

“This included coding the various components and mapping them into a spreadsheet. It was quite a complex logistical process but it’s really nice at the end of the day to see it all come to fruition.“

Mr Perry highlighted that while the mural was painted, it also had elements of mosaic.

“For the last six years I have been primarily working with mosaics but early on I painted murals in Bargara.

“I am always learning from the process and it’s been great to combine elements of both mosaics and painted murals for this project.”

BCC Reef Guardian teacher Stuart Thornton said the beautiful artwork would serve as a reminder to students that the Great Barrier Reef was right on their doorstep.

“Our students have the opportunity to look after and care for the reef, so that it can be enjoyed not only for themselves, but for generations to come.

“A big thanks to Paul for all of his hard work.”

Year 6 Reef Guardian Halle Shehata said she loves the variety and colours of the fish displayed and feels that it will help to boost student’s imagination.

“I love the colour palate,” Halle said.

(as published in Bundaberg Today, Friday 6 October 2023)

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