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Byron Shire
December 1, 2021

M’bah open-air gallery and free painting lessons

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Local artist Turiya Bruce with Adrienne and Erwin Weber in front of the 'Ages of the Tweed' mural depicting the Jurassic Era (250 million years ago ). Photo supplied.
Local artist Turiya Bruce with Adrienne and Erwin Weber in front of the ‘Ages of the Tweed’ mural depicting the Jurassic Era (250 million years ago ). Photo supplied.

Heading back in time and creating an open-air gallery along the Tweed River riverbank at Murwillumbah; local artist Turiya Bruce is putting the final touches on stage one of the 150m long mural ‘Ages of the Tweed’.

As you look ‘from the Murwillumbah Bridge towards the iconic view of Mount Warning one sees many birds and water dragons. Artist Turiya Bruce has been working with local environment group Earth Learning, community artists and volunteers to put the final touches to the first stage of the mural on the riverside of the Murwillumbah flood levee wall,’ said Earth Learning spokesperson, Adrienne Weber.

Beautiful beyond description

‘The mural was inspired by  the words of William Guilfoyle, botanist and explorer who In 1869 travelled up the Tweed River and described it as: “A deep rich valley clothed with magnificent trees . . .  The background was Mount Warning. The view was altogether beautiful beyond description. The scenery here exceeded anything I have previously seen in Australia.”

‘Guilfoyle said “In all my travels I have never seen anything to equal the beauty of the vegetation. The banks of the river are clothed to the waters edge with an endless variety of the richest of evergreens, and the gay blossoms of climbing plants, entwining themselves around the larger trees, or hanging from the branches in gorgeous festoons alone would be the subject for the painter.”’

The mural has been in progress for the last few years with the final vision being to create the Tweed River – Murwillumbah Riverbank Restoration Walk and Open-air Gallery. The idea is to represent all the plants and animals that existed in the original Woolumbin, Mount Warning area from Lismore to Mount Tamborine.

Complementing the other side of the wall that already has a mural called ‘Treasures of the Tweed’ it has been made possible by the combined efforts of Earth Learning, Tweed Shire Council, Murwillumbah Memorial Services Club, Tweed Landcare, volunteer and indigenous artists with funds from the ClubsGRANT, 25th Anniversary Landcare grant.

‘The Murwillumbah riverbank open-air gallery is creating a safe place for visitors and local community of all ages to reconnect with the river which is our greatest asset,’ continued Adrienne.


With over 700m of flood levy wall available there has been an agreement with young people in Murwillumbah to use a dedicated section of the wall for tagging and graffiti art. Unfortunately during the holidays some tagging took place over the mural creating significant extra work in cleaning and re-painting.

‘We would love to have them come and work on the mural,’ said Turiya who is co-ordinating the painting of the mural.

‘Mural painting is slow and labour intensive in places yet taggers can take less than a minute to destroy a whole day or more work.

‘I would be really happy to teach them how to paint and the techniques that we use to create the mural. It is great fun and uses a range of interesting techniques that are different from more traditional painting. And it will really help people develop their tagging skills as well.’

In fact anyone who is interested in getting involved and learning how to paint murals is welcome to come on board. If you would like to help please contact [email protected] 0432917555.

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  1. Fantastic effort by a group of volunteers for the benefit of the local community and helping eco-tourism. What a terrible shame it is. that school kids destroy such beauty with their tagging.
    What a great opportunity they now have to learn art skills that could take them way beyond “tagging” towards genuine street- art on Muwillumbahs famous ‘Graffiti wall”. They could contribute work alongside great street artists -some internationally renowned who currently appear along most sections of this wall


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