THE side of the Repco building in Pialba has been transformed into an ocean seascape – reflecting Hervey Bay’s unique whale heritage.
Two artists have been hard at work over the past week painting the whale mural on the building alongside the Mary to Bay Rail Trail as it cuts through Pialba.
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Matt Thompson and Cam Scale are no strangers to large-scale artworks, having previously painted murals on grain silos and multi-storey buildings.
“We wanted to celebrate the local wildlife and chose the humpback whale which is synonymous with the region,” Matt said.
“They were hunted to near extinction, so it is a timely reminder of the role we play as caretakers of our environment and the fragility of life. The wall presented a unique opportunity to suitably capture their immense presence and energy,” he said.
“Humpbacks are known for their playful antics and this mural captures whales in all their glory, moving both above and below the surface; breaching the surface and diving below.”
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The finished piece uses a blend of street art/graffiti and fine art techniques to create a landmark piece that the Fraser Coast Regional Council hopes will inspire the imagination of people using the trail.
Hervey Bay is referred to by many as the whale watching capital of the world and was declared the world’s first Whale Heritage Site in 2019.
Thousands of humpback whales break their migration from the Antarctic to the tropics in the calm water of Hervey Bay.
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A fleet of boats operate in the area during the whale watching season (July to November) and offer locals, tourists and visitors a rare chance to get up close to the gentle giants.
Division 6 Councillor David Lewis said Hervey Bay and whales go perfectly together.
“The mural will help brighten up that wall and add to the existing trail of artworks along the trail between Boat Harbour Drive and Old Maryborough Road,” Cr Lewis explained.
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“Murals and street art help create an atmosphere and encourage people to get out of their cars to have a look and explore an area.
“They can also deter vandals and graffiti artists.”
The finished mural will be coated with an anti-graffiti coating to deter vandals from tagging it.