When our Foyer expansion was built and completed in 2019, a mural wall was created outside by the architects at Bark Design. The young people felt Foyer needed more colour! Jess McKinnon, a local talented Indigenous artist came to our aid, as well as the gifted artists Rolanda and Paora from Rekon Youth.
Jess McKinnon, Rolando and Paora met with the tenants from Logan Youth Foyer and collaborated plans and ideas for our splashes of colours. We discussed with respect to Indigenous people’s land that we wanted to include Indigenous culture within the mural wall at Logan Youth Foyer. As well as all the other cultures who reside here. There were two mural workshops that were encouraged and planned by the leadership team at Logan Youth Foyer. The mural workshops were very successful with the help from Jess, Rolando and Paora as well as staff and tenants. Many tenants voiced their ideas and concepts of the design, as well as the theme of the mural wall. Our theme is cultural diversity and inclusivity of all cultures at Foyer.
Our first workshop was laying the plans for the foundations of the design. There was an abundance of different ideas that we wanted to include into the design. Paora showed us his previous artworks to give us some inspiration for our overall design. We discussed all the diverse cultures of people who live at Logan Youth Foyer such as Indigenous peoples, Australian, African, Mexican, Spanish, South American and more. We wanted to include different colours, Totems, local animals, plants and Indigenous artwork concepts that represent everyone who lives at Logan Youth Foyer. We discussed the idea that this mural wall artwork will be like a jigsaw puzzle where we all have our piece that connects us all together forming our diverse community. Jess, Rolanda and Paora collaborated together and formed some designs that matched our ideas.
The second mural workshop was very successful as well, with great participation from many tenants. Paora showed us his artwork and his designs he created in response to the first workshop. We picked the one we liked the most, that felt the most meaningful. We discussed our ideas, what we wanted to add, or change. There was discussion about Indigenous Dreamtime stories and the representation of the artwork.
Paora’s final design was sent out to all tenants for feedback, as well as to the Department of Housing and CHL (community tenancy managers) for approval to apply the design to our mural wall. We are still waiting for the finalisation to be made. The next stage will be painting the mural wall, putting our ideas, colours and cultures on the wall will bring a sense of inclusiveness, comfort and will support our safe place. The mural wall is 5.2M high, so due to health and safety reasons, tenants cannot paint on the cherry picker, but will still be able to be included in the painting process, just on a lower level.
In the near future, Jess will be working with the tenants to design and paint some beautiful indigenous artwork in our hub, office and other external communal areas such as our BBQ area. There are many creative and artistic tenants who are looking forward to engaging in doing therapeutic art work with Jess!
Through the support of staff, Jess, Rolanda, Paora and tenants, we have all joined together with a beautiful, meaningful design that will present on the mural wall for many years to come. Making, current and future tenants feel supported and included. Especially culturally diverse people from many backgrounds. The mural wall represents coming together, as a big family with loving hands. The Logan youth Foyer will be a place of colour and creativeness.
Written by Emily Ford (LYFSS Leadership Team) with support from Rachael Holmes (LYFSS staff).