Wartime monument on Mallow wall

September 3, 2023 BY

Holding history: Amanda Western’s Arch of Victory mural was unveiled at The Mallow Hotel on Wednesday evening last week. Photo: TIM BOTTAMS

A MURAL celebrating the Arch of Victory is now a permanent fixture at The Mallow Hotel courtesy of a local linocut artist.

The black-and-white piece is visual artist Amanda Western’s first solo display and is an upscaled rendering of a print she’d created of the iconic arch.

Located in the venue’s front dining room, the project has been in the works since around March.

“The original carving I did is about 80 by 72 which translates to three by three on the wall,” she said.

“I had to get it scanned in Fitzroy because there was no one here with enough of a high-resolution scanner.

“It’s a special type of wallpaper like vinyl. For the actual print, I used a photo taken in 1945 that was taken by a Victorian railway photographer.”

Western said it was “serendipity” that she was asked to create the piece, with the owners hearing of her qualifications while she was at the venue celebrating the news of her upcoming debut solo exhibition.

She also said her aim was to capture the wartime significance inherent in the monument.

“The original photographer actually called it the Arch of Honour,” she said. “I reflected on that a lot because it was World War Two time when he took that photo.

“You think of all the sacrifices, and we have the longest Avenue of Honour in Australia with 3801 trees, that’s how many enlisted people from Ballarat went into the first World War.

“Twenty per cent didn’t come home. For me, it was such a poignant representation so I put my take on that capture.”

Her next collaboration with The Mallow’s owners is set to be located in the venue’s lounge room, featuring another historical subject.

Western started working with linocut in March last year while she was studying her Cert III in Visual Art at Oxygen College.

The Mallow’s owners are also looking for wartime-era photos of Ballarat to adorn the wall beside Western’s new mural.