Mural inspired by native wildlife breathes new life into Rydalmere
Written by Darryn Capes-Davis on 13 June 2021
A colourful new mural featuring native Australian plants and animals has transformed a 40-metre shopfront in Rydalmere, breathing new life into the industrial hub’s main shopping strip.
The large-scale public artwork by artist Claire Foxton is at the heart of City of Parramatta Council’s $670,000 revitalisation of Brodie Street shops, delivered under its Better Neighbourhoods Program. It will face Rydalmere’s forthcoming Parramatta Light Rail station.
“With its bright splashes of purple, blue and red, the eye-catching new mural will become an iconic feature of Rydalmere’s shopping and dining strip,” City of Parramatta Lord Mayor Cr Bob Dwyer said.
“Rydalmere is a growing hub in the City of Parramatta − home to a Western Sydney University campus, a diverse selection of businesses, and soon its own Parramatta Light Rail stop. Our upgrades and stunning mural will make the town centre even more welcoming for people to stop by for a coffee or a bite to eat.”
Wollongong-based mural artist Claire Foxton said she was proud to work with Council and street art agency Blank Walls to bring the 40mx5m mural to life.
“I really wanted the work to brighten this little corner of Rydalmere and act as a warm welcome for commuters with the new Light Rail stop opening opposite the mural. I feel chuffed that this is one of the first public artworks activating this area of Western Sydney and hope it leads to more!” Ms Foxton said.
“The idea was to bring a feeling of nature and calm to a fairly built-up area. The work features native flora and fauna species found locally, some of which are threatened, endangered or vulnerable.”
The mural at 11 Brodie Street took eight days to paint and features Australian native plants such as the Blackthorn, Flowering Gum, Crimson Bottlebrush, and endangered Spiked Rice-flower; birds including the Eastern Rosella, Scarlet Robin, and endangered Regent Honeyeater; and the Caper White Butterfly.
The Brodie Street upgrade, scheduled for completion in September 2021, was informed by significant community consultation. It will include new granite paving, bespoke street furniture, wider footpaths to accommodate more outdoor dining and new mature trees, in addition to the mural.
Council’s Better Neighbourhood Program, operating since 1999, is focused on revitalising local centres outside the Parramatta CBD.