A dammed amazing mural

World's biggest mural shaping up at Collie

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GROUND: A panoptic drawing of the hills by Dr Audrey Fernandes-Satar and Arif Satar 2020. Photo: Taj Kempe

GROUND: A panoptic drawing of the hills by Dr Audrey Fernandes-Satar and Arif Satar 2020. Photo: Taj Kempe

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Collie is usually known more for its coal mining history than as an art destination.

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The small town of Collie, south of Perth, is usually known more for its coal mining history than as an art destination... but not any more.

One of the world's biggest murals is taking shape on the wall of Wellington Dam in the picturesque Wellington National Park less than half-an-hour out of town.

And in the town itself, contemporary art works have sprung up on the walls of public buildings, shops and signs, creating a trail of images which tell the story and culture of the area.

The mural trail adds to the area's natural attractions and is enticing tourists from across the state; and when border restrictions are lifted is sure to be a drawcard for national and international tourists.

Artist Guido van Helten's 8000 square metre mega-mural is the biggest dam mural in the world.

GRAND DESIGN: Guido van Helten's mega-mural spreads across the wall of the Wellington Dam in Collie. Photo: Taj Kempe

GRAND DESIGN: Guido van Helten's mega-mural spreads across the wall of the Wellington Dam in Collie. Photo: Taj Kempe

Inspired by local stories and photographs, it comprises a series of images and reflects the area's connection to and reliance on its natural resources, including water.

The artist spent time in the town researching and talking to locals to understand the community and create a design that reflects them.

The mural is not yet complete, with the artist having to dangle from the top of the dam wall on a specially built cradle to paint each segment.

But the gradual revelation of the design has been a drawcard in itself, with visitors often stopping to watch the amazing work unfold.

The mural trail project was made possible with a $1.5 million state government grant.

It is part of a plan to diversify the local economy and deliver sustainable jobs through developing industries, including tourism.

Fifteen Western Australian artists and one from interstate were selected to paint the town murals with designs including references to the history of Collie, Aboriginal culture and the natural environment.

IF YOU GO

Surrounded by the natural beauty of forest and lakes, Collie is a charming country town with a friendly vibe.

Nestled on the banks of the Collie River, the area has a rich Indigenous tradition as well as a more modern coal mining history.

The area is popular for outdoor activities such as walking, camping, cycling and water sports. Its lakes are a highlight.

Accommodation is plentiful and the region is renowned for the freshness of its cuisine.

The Bibbulmun Track and Munda Biddi Trail pass close to Collie. It is particularly beautiful in spring, as the trails are usually decorated in the beautiful colours of the annual wildflower show.

Read more: Enjoy the breathtaking natural scenery of the Blue Mountains

Read more: What a relief: Online map and app helps you find a dunny in a hurry

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