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Mural captures history

Saturday, 8th July, 2017

Artist Lisa King (left) with Outback Lodge owner Helene Power in front of the half-finished mural. PICTURE: Kara de Groot Artist Lisa King (left) with Outback Lodge owner Helene Power in front of the half-finished mural. PICTURE: Kara de Groot

By Kara de Groot

An artist being recognised nationally and internationally for her murals and street art has come to Broken Hill to ply her trade.

Lisa King was invited by the Broken Hill Art Exchange (BHAE) to create a mural as part of the group’s Desert Equinox Earth Art Prize Exhibit.

She’s set up at the Outback Lodge Motel in Mica Street where she’s working until tomorrow to paint a mural which reflects the history of the old building.

Dr MacGillivray and his family owned 252 Mica Street from the late 1800s until his death in 1933.

The doctor not only built the city’s first stone and iron-roofed house, in 1904, but included a private zoo in the grounds.

He studied ornithology as well as medicine, and was president of the Barrier Field Naturalists Club from its formation in 1927 until his death.

Lisa King will be taking this knowledge of the man and his life and giving it physical form on one of the street-facing walls of what is now the Outback Lodge Motel.

A woman’s face, based on that of Dr MacGillivray’s daughter, Jean, by his second wife Hilda, will feature prominently on the wall. It is taken from a photo in the motel’s foyer of the mother and daughter.

At the mural’s centre are three native birds which link back to the doctor’s studies and conservation work.

Ms King said she’s still deciding what to paint on the last third of the mural.

“I’m going to see how the wall pans out and then the space on the left will have maybe a desert pea or some pattern work,” she said.

“I’m using blues and greens in my work which I thought would be good because there’s greenery around, and I’ll have some complementary reds in there too, which reflects the earth,” she said.

“Thursday was my first day painting. I was lining it all up on Wednesday, and I’ll be here until about midday on Sunday.”

Lodge owner Helene Power said she was excited to see it all come together.

Ms Power had been discussing the idea of an artwork on the motel for some time with the BHAE, and said it was good to see it now happening.

“I’m quite taken by how this modern work has a connection to the history of the building,” she said.

“For a place like this, a motel, it helps provide more than just bedrooms to people; it’s an experience and a glimpse of the town’s heritage.

“Lisa and I worked together on the design and she’s managed to make quite an amazing connection to the history of the Lodge with Dr MacGillivray and his wife and second wife and children, and all his interests.”

The mural is expected to be finished about noon tomorrow and Ms Power said everyone was welcome to come down and see the artist at work and check out the finished piece.

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