by GRACE JOHNSON
Murals have long been considered a significant art form that engages people from all social classes, imparting shared community values and important political messages.
In Australia, more than 200 species of marine animals are affected by debris, whether by entanglement or ingestion, with over 75 per cent of rubbish removed from our beaches being made of plastic.
To remind locals and visitors alike of the harmful effects of littering on the local environment, Randwick City Council has ramped up efforts to protect their precious aquatic reserve by installing new waste bins at both ends of Gordons Bay in Sydney’s east, but also by commissioning artist Nico Nicoson to deliver a mural.
Since its completion earlier this week, the mural has been garnering attention from passersby for its important reminder not to leave rubbish behind, as is so often seen in some of the city’s most scenic areas.
The mural, painted on a small pump station, depicts various marine animals amongst common waste, such as discarded tabs from cans, bottles, and plastic cups with straws, and displays the words, “Love this scene? Keep it clean”.
Randwick City Council Mayor Philipa Veitch said, “The mural was commissioned to remind people to do their part for the environment and take their rubbish with them or bin it.”
“Gordons Bay is part of a precious aquatic reserve that stretches across 4,000 metres of coastline from Coogee to Bronte.”
“Millions of people from all over the world visit this area every year, whether to walk the Coogee to Bondi coastal path, or swim or snorkel in Gordons Bay or neighbouring Clovelly.”
“The beauty of this unique environment is dependent on everyone who passes through it.”
Murals play an important role in reaching wide audiences and sparking conversations about important issues.
“I wanted the mural to be a visual language and its message accessible to people of all ages, backgrounds and cultures,” said Nicoson, a Sydney-based contemporary mural artist.
“It’s opening opportunities to talk about the impact that litter has on the ocean, fish and other wildlife – a conversation that many people may not otherwise have.”
Funded by the NSW Environment Protection Authority, the mural is a part of a Randwick City Council project aimed at reducing litter at Gordons Bay and Yarra Bay.