Geelong West’s bold mural honouring cancer survivors and sufferers in the community wins bronze in Australian street art awards

Geelong West’s bold mural honouring cancer survivors and sufferers in the community wins bronze in Australian street art awards

Artist Kirsten Walsh is a winner in our eyes.

A bold mural in Geelong West dedicated to cancer awareness was named a finalist in the 2020 Australian Street Art Awards, and has managed to take out Bronze.

Expertly splashed on the wall of Bakers Delight in Pakington Street, the 10-metre mural boasts beautiful pastels and three emotive faces, bringing an uplifting sense of happiness and joy to our community and importantly honours survivors and sufferers fighting brain and breast cancer.

The key takeaways

  • A stunning mural in Geelong West has taken out bronze in the Australian Street Art Awards
  • The mural is dedicated to the cancer survivors and suffers within Geelong’s community
  • QLD and SA lead the awards, claiming three golds each

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Commissioned by Newtown fine art studio, Bells Fine Art in collaboration with Bakers Delight Geelong West, the mural was spawned from the desire to further inject Geelong’s centre of cosmopolitan lifestyle and multiculturalism with another beautiful work of art while raising awareness about cancer in the community.

The poignant theme of the mural is one close to Suranga Sena, the owner of Bakers Delight Geelong, after surviving a rare brain condition and this vision was then beautifully brought to life by the talented world-class portraiture and hyper-realism artist Kirsten Walsh of Jan Juc back in July last year.

Titled ‘The Brave and The Beautiful’, the mural features three life-like faces: the pink muse depicting a woman fighting breast cancer, a green beanie muse depicting a survivor of brain cancer and the final angelic face of an innocent child, blowing a dandelion as a wish of hope for the other two muses.

“My inspiration was to show the community how beautiful, yet fragile these brave women can be when fighting this insidious disease,” Kirsten explains.

“People can look at this mural and feel good about it, but you can also see that there is a story behind these women on the wall – what they had overcome, what they had gone through, and in the face of adversity and their own mortality, they can still bring joy and happiness to others; and ultimately they are all stronger for it.

“I want these women to be a source of inspiration for other sufferers and our future generations that follow them,” she says.

While the mural as a whole is simply stunning with its inspiring message buoyed by the pastel colour palette and soft tones, it’s the addition of the child that communicates the power of hope for those suffering, with a promise for a brighter tomorrow.

Receiving the recognition this stunning work of art deserves, the mural was shortlisted for the 2020 Australian Street Art Awards in the category of Best External Mural. This category includes some of the best original, permanent painted artworks less than 10 metres tall that has been specifically created for a public site and is publicly visible. Gold for this category was awarded to Kapunda Lucas Street Mural, Kapunda SA. Nominated by Kapunda Community Gallery Inc, this mural depicts the town from the 1850s to 1900. Under the guidance of Danny Menzel, 15 volunteers pulled together to create this sizeable artwork. Visitors can look into the eyes of people who made significant contributions to South Australia, such as Captain Charles Hervey Bagot and Francis Stacker Dutton who discovered copper in Kapunda in 1845 – Australia’s first commercially successful copper mine.

Showcasing the ultimate Australian destinations where visitors can see epic, world-class street and public art that’s accessible and enjoyable all year round, this year’s awards judging focused on the way the particular artworks have been used to attract visitors and bring the local community together safely under the challenging COVID-19 conditions.

“With COVID restrictions on indoor numbers in most states and territories, street and public art is a free gift to every traveller,” Awards Director, Liz Rivers said.

“Australia has a long history of creating sculptures, monuments and other street art that is captivating to visitors. However, until two years ago there was no way of rewarding towns and precincts that created these art-related experiences for visitors. The Australian Street Art Awards has remedied that shortcoming.”

While it is easy, upon coming across a beautiful work of art on a city’s wall, to simply snap a photo, upload it to Instagram and move on, the best street art merits spending a few moments to think about what it wants to say – and that’s been the response to the work in Geelong West over the last eight months.

Pop down and see it for yourself on the sidewall of Baker’s Delight at 159 Pakington St, Geelong West. You can view the full list of winners here.

Keen to see some more of Geelong’s art scene? Check out 16 of Geelong’s insanely cool street artworks.