Lismore flood levee become a giant canvas for street art

Marc Stapelberg

COLOUR, culture and creativity have combined to produce Lismore's newest piece of street art - a giant depiction of Art vs Science on the city's levee wall.

Centred by a tree, the 28m-wide artwork by Back Alley Gallery artists Jeremy Austin and Justin Livingston depicts fish and the river at one end with a robotic woman and palm fronds at the other.

The artwork is on the levee between the former RSL building and the skate park.

The concept was born at Lismore's inaugural Art vs Science Festival on August 26, where Jeremy and Justin did a workshop with the Catchment Activity Model.

They went away and devised the mural that shows the impact of human behaviour and land management on the Wilsons and Richmond rivers.

Bunnings and Lismore City Council donated $550 to buy sugar spray paint made from sugar cane. It contains no petroleum or other nasty chemicals found in spray paint, in keeping with the Art vs Science Festival's sustainability theme.

After four days painting, using 75 spray cans while dodging rain, the mural was completed on Tuesday.

"I think Jeremy's side touches on the science aspect and my side with the fish touches on the river and water," Justin said.

"I guess the woman represents Mother Nature in a way, with her flowing hair, which also represents the water," Jeremy said.

Lismore City Council environmental strategies officer Vanessa Tallon said the work combined art and science harmoniously.

"This has an educational message and is a tool to impart knowledge, yet at the same time it is a beautiful, stand-alone artwork that improves the look of the plain levee wall, building on our reputation as a city that embraces colourful street art," Ms Tallon said.

It would remain a permanent mural she hoped the community would respect.

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