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Byron Shire
April 23, 2024

Open-air art walk by the river at Murwillumbah completed

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At around midnight last night, a fire started which engulfed the old Mullumbimby railway station. It's been twenty years since the last train came through, but the building has been an important community hub, providing office space for a number of organisations, including COREM, Mullum Music Festival and Social Futures.

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Ages of the Tweed mural in Murwillumbah by Turiya Bruce, Erwin Weber, and Earth Learning. Photo Turiya Bruce

The Northern Rivers is listed in the top 35 of the world’s biodiversity hotspots and recognising the importance of this Earth Learning have funded the Ages of the Tweed mural which was recently completed on the levee wall on the Murwillumbah riverside.

‘The project began in 2016 to create Riverside “Open Air Art-Walk”,’ said Marion Riordan from Murwillumbah based not-for-profit, Earth Learning.

‘The imagery depicts the deep history of the Northern Rivers environmental region. It begins when life first evolved from under the oceans to live on land at 300 million years ago. It then continues through the ages depicting the evolution of significant flora and fauna of the Wollumbin Caldera region – also known as Australia’s “Green Cauldron”.’

The Ages of the Tweed mural begins when life first evolved from under the oceans to live on land at 300 million years ago. Photo Turiya Bruce

The mural is about 150m in length with an average height of 1.5m and has taken around six years to complete.

‘The artwork was designed and managed by Erwin Weber and began with the collaboration of many volunteers in 2016,’ explained Marion.

‘The majority of the mural was then completed in the last two years by Erwin Weber and professional artist Turiya Bruce with many areas being reworked and improved after graffiti damage.’

‘The imagery depicts the “Deep History” of the Northern Rivers environmental region’. Photo Turiya Bruce

Following the flood

Artist Turiya Bruce told The Echo ‘I commenced the wall the day of the last big flood in Murwillumbah. The town was a mess for many months after, but what I had painted stood without damage.’

‘Danielle Sussyer created our Originie art aspects. Artists included Anthony Binder and Phil Joster. David Adams helped the concept design with Erwin Weber. Thank you also to Graham who housed our paint and was a great support.

‘We kept working along the wall upgrading and completing the vision sometimes with up ten people painting at once! It was a pleasure to work with Earth Learning in realising their vision,’ she said.

Ages of the Tweed mural in Murwillumbah by Turiya Bruce, Erwin Weber, and Earth Learning. Photo Turiya Bruce

Importance of the region

‘Earth Learning wanted to teach people about the significance of the natural environment of this region,’ said Marion.

‘It is recognised as one of the worlds top 35 biodiversity hotspots. Its flora, fauna and landscapes link back to the Great Southern Land of Gondwana and many species have survived f unchanged from millions of years ago,’ she said.

‘The Tweed (and surrounds) now acts as a “Climate Refuge” for many plants and animals that were once widespread but have died out due to a drying climate and human’s (white mans) invasive practices.’

‘Funding was supplied by Murwillumbah RSL, ITV and in particular small business owner Warren Stratton of the Scandinavian Cone Company who made a generous donation in 2017 which allowed EL to hire professional artist Turiya Bruce to complete the mural.

The Ages of the Tweed mural in Murwillumbah continues through the ages depicting the evolution of significant flora and fauna of the Wollumbin Caldera region. Photo Turiya Bruce

Interpretive guide

Positioned on the levee wall next to the Tweed River as it runs through the town of Murwillumbah it is a wonderful opportunity to take a beautiful riverside stroll with Mt Warning (Wollumbin) as a backdrop.

Earth Learning has provided a lively, easy-to-follow interpretative guide to accompany your walk and take you ‘back into deep time on your mobile as you take in this wonderful art piece,’ said Marion.

♦ You can see more artwork by Turiya Bruce online here.


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2 COMMENTS

  1. When your back’s to the wall and you want to stand tall
    a small company Earth Learning has been brushed out
    for art is in their heart to showing and in shouting about.
    They have funded in an artistic way an open-air art wall
    down by the riverside all along the long levee-bank wall.
    Painted in several stages it shows The Ages of the Tweed.

  2. Wollumbin was taken as the heritage and name of my family’s peak and applied as a fake Aboriginal name to Mt Warning, what is this rubbish?

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