Since its conception, RICArts has coordinated the production of art in public spaces, that include murals and mosaics erected throughout Russell Island.
The group artworks were created by our dedicated members who volunteered their skills and passion. The projects were made possible by generous grants from the Redland City Council and Arts Queensland and local business sponsors, such as the Russell Island Bowls Club.
Group projects not only benefit the community by creating art in public spaces, they also create a place where members can work together to share ideas, grow friendships and even have a laugh whilst facing the challenge of creating and completing some beautiful pieces of art.
Group projects include The Russell Island Jetty Shelter Mural, The Russell Island Jetty Mosaic, The Russell Island RSL Mosaic and the Russell Island Bowls Club Mural.
RUSSELL ISLAND JETTY MOSAIC
The Russell Island Jetty Mosaic project was created in 2012 by local volunteers led by artist Dianne Little.
The mosaic was designed to welcome visitors to Russell Island, and to embellish the passenger jetty waiting area. It has become the iconic Russell Island landmark.
Initiated by the Southern Moreton Bay Islands Forum, the project was funded by the Regional Arts Development Fund, Queensland State government and Redland City Council. The project was sponsored by the Bay Islands Community Centre, Russell Island State School, Cr. Barbara Townsend, Ardex Australia, Russell Island Community Arts, Russell Island Association and local Russell Island businesses.
The Mosaic took seven months to complete, and was unveiled by Mayor Melva Hobson. It received a lot of publicity, and enjoyed tens of thousands of online viewings. It has been a continuing attraction for ferry passengers, and a source of pride of Russell Island residents.
The mosaic design can be read as a timeline, recognising the traditional owners in the beginning, the design moves forward into the future, following the school of fish designed by children from the Russell Island State School. The central drama of the flying kite in search of food reflects the reality of survival in daily life.
The letters in the Mosaic are coloured to reflect the Russell Island natural setting: yellow for the sunshine and red for the fertile tropical soil, the two elements that nurture life on Russell Island.
The Mosaic is made with mirror tiles to add extra fluidity to the artwork. As the tiles reflect the bay waters, the mosaic comes to life, and changes with each change of weather and light around it. This makes the artwork interesting and fresh every time you look at it.
RUSSELL ISLAND BOWLS CLUB MURAL
In 2012, RICArts was invited to create a mural on the Russell Island Bowls Club fence, with the aim of making the front of the Bowls Club more inviting to families, and enticing new members to the club. A series of 14 panels, 2 x 1 metre each, were designed to reflect the purpose and spirit of the Club, as well as community life and natural beauty of Russell Island. The mural was jointly funded by Queensland Government Regional Arts Development Fund Grant and Russell Island Bowls Club.
The project was led by professional artist, sculptor, photographer and art columnist Jenny Rumney.
The development workshops took seven months and were attended by the following volunteers from RICArts: Former RICArts President, Joan Brennan; Laurie Eastough; Wendy Badham; Barbara Wilson; Tracy Cavanough; Susan Gillespie; Sylvia Janda and Suzanne Short.
Russell Island Bowling Club Mural, with Tracy Cavanough, Jenny Rumney , Laurie Eastough, Wendy Badham and Joan Brennan
The project team researched the history of the island and its rich wildlife, including unique species like the green tree frogs.
“The artists worked shoulder to shoulder in a small space” said Joan Brennan. “The participants were always courteous to each other. The panels were created in a happy, jovial atmosphere. Weekly meetings became twice or three times a week”, Joan recalls.
The mural featured the Russell Island Bowls Club logo, the image of an eagle with a bowling ball, and the motto, ‘Through Sportsmanship to Friendship’. It also depicted ‘Ye Old Club House’, the original Bowls Club house which was built by local volunteers. Local farming history was reflected in a sugar mill, a chimney and pineapples from a pineapple cannery. The rich natural diversity on the Island was represented with paintings of the Casuarina and Banksia,the endangered Glossy Black Cockatoos, and sea life including dugongs and turtles. The Mural also depicted a range of community events and activities enjoyed by the islanders such as boating, fishing, cricket and soccer.
Although the mural no longer stands today, this colourful display of artwork produced by Jenny Rumney and dedicated local volunteers was enjoyed by the local community for seven years.