Purro Birik - 28

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Purro Birik - (Healthy Spirit)



Stage 4

Painting the wall, mounting completed mosaics and grouting were the next steps. Again, everyone was invited to participate according to their level of comfort. It was a very physical stage of the project, but one which generated considerable enthusiasm and excitement as it was evident that we were nearly done. There was much curiosity and speculation as to how the finished mural would look. It was suddenly very tangible and possible and real. A whole new range of skills was available for people to learn - painting, grouting, gluing mosaics, deciding where to place handprints. By this stage the Koori participants had developed quite a reputation for their design, many hours of labour and for the very strong and intricate work they had produced. It seemed that the space welcomed and celebrated their presence and that they responded with pride and confidence.


Stage 5

Celebration! Plaques which acknowledged the contribution of every participant (if they wished to be named) were mounted on the mural and later unveiled at the opening ceremony. The Koori artists who designed the mural were given special mention, and both Yorta Yorta people and Wurundjeri people were acknowledged.


An exhibition of in-progress photos of the mural made it possible for people who had not been involved since the beginning of the mural to see its history. It was also a way of acknowledging the many individuals who had helped along the way. The photographs continue to be a source of pleasure to people who participated in the project. They are now exhibited at the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service.


Speeches and traditional Aboriginal singing and dancing completed the launch. This was a real highlight of the day and launched the mural in a very spirited and moving way.



The Mural located at St Vincent's Hospital Mental Health Service


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