Hoodies tell story of family and future

November 23, 2021 BY

Aireys Inlet Community Centre now creates awareness of the local hooded plovers, representing family life on the Surf Coast.

THE inspiring new mural on the Aireys Inlet Community Centre has transformed a corrugated tin wall to an art space, with a shout out to the local hoodies who are currently nesting on the nearby foreshore.

However, like every artwork, there’s more to the story, including the important awareness the mural creates around the vulnerable shorebirds and the significance of the project to the artist.

Torquay’s Geoffrey Carran has been focused on painting birdlife for about a decade and has murals across Victoria including stunning triple-silo work featured in the Wimmera’s Australian Silo Art Trail.

But the mural of the parent and young hooded plover at Aireys is Geoffrey’s first Surf Coast public art piece.

“I’ve done plenty of that scale, and larger; I balance professional large-work public work and canvases, working on commissions.

“I’m really happy to have one on the Surf Coast,” he said, explaining his nearest work had previously been a kookaburra on the Godfrey Hirst building in Breakwater.

Geoffrey’s vision to paint hoodies to transform the Aireys Inlet community hall was selected through an expressions of interest process, and after navigating COVID lockdown, torrential rain and the challenge of a corrugated tin surface, he managed to complete the work in just two weeks.

“I wanted to tell the story of the hooded plover, they are so susceptible to threats and by putting up a mural at that location, I am creating awareness,” he said.

“I was thinking it was a really interesting wall and primary location to tell that story.

“The theme is around optimism; there is an adult and chick; the chick represents hope for the next generation.

“There is also that family element and I believe the Surf Coast is a really family-centric place, people see it as a great place to raise kids.”

Geoffrey said the location had provided a great opportunity to engage with the community while creating the work, which had been a great part of the experience.

“Because it was the community hall and the school, there was always someone dropping in,” he said.

“I was telling a local story and using local landmark, and everyone had another story to add; I heard why they loved living there, and why that area is so special to them.”

Geoffrey said as a child he would draw lot of birds, particularly seabirds, but he had “forgotten about that” when he went to art school.

He said birds had then featured somewhere in his paintings but about 10 years ago, bird became his art.

“Birdlife in Australia is amazing and so in your face; most people have a story about interaction with birdlife.

“Birds are the nexus to other people’s stories; they are endlessly fascinating.”

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