Big Picture Fest Hits City Bricks

Vintage inspired mural brings Civic Theatre wall to life as Big Picture Fest sweeps the City.

City of Newcastle is celebrating the opening of the Big Picture Fest which will see the western wall of Civic Theatre painted with a vintage mural, as 14 street artworks are installed across the City centre.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes and Deputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen with artist Bronte Naylor preparing her work on her mural ‘Mirror Ocean’ on the western wall of Civic Theatre.

The Festival is brought to Newcastle through the City’s Special Business Rates (SBR) funding program, and brings together local, national and international artists to transform Newcastle’s streetscapes.

Award winning mural artist Bronte Naylor¹ has been selected to create a mural called ‘Mirror Ocean’ which draws on themes and colours from an iconic vintage seaside painting on display within the Civic Theatre.

A 2019 Lord Mayoral Minute to bring local and internationally renowned artists to Newcastle in a celebration of art in public spaces was the catalyst for the Big Picture Fest being hosted in Newcastle.

City of Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the $169,750 investment from Special Business Rate funding has brought world class street art to some of the City’s most prominent locations for the local community and visitors to appreciate.

City of Newcastle is proud to be the major sponsor of Newcastle’s Big Picture Fest delivering the support and financial backing to our artists during a time when the arts sector has been decimated by COVID-19.

Street Art is an important component of Newcastle’s changing landscape, documenting our rich industrial, social and cultural history, and playing a significant role in fostering a dynamic and vibrant creative arts sector.”

Deputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen said the festival contributes to the vibrancy of Newcastle and creates an ongoing artistic legacy for the community and local business.

The Big Picture Fest is a major international street art activation that celebrates Newcastle’s history and creative culture, and sees some of our amazing local talent produce large scale murals in the city.

The official opening of the festival today will showcase our vibrant local art scene with 11 of the 14 artists hailing from the Hunter region.

It has been a captivating sight to watch the amazing pieces of street art emerge from walls throughout the City. There will be plenty for people to see over the long weekend with murals popping up at places such as Museum Park, Foghorn Brewery, Civic Theatre and the corner of King and Union Streets.”

The Big Picture Fest runs 2-4 October and is free for the community to attend. For more information and the mural map, visit thebigpicturefest.com

¹Bronte Naylor is visual artist working across exhibitions, public art, installation, research and community engagement. She recently completed a Bachelor of Creative Arts (Honours) Graduating First Class at University of Southern Queensland.

Her résumé includes collaborations with St+ART India, Sea Walls: Artists for Oceans, First Coat International Art Festival and Big Picture Festival.

Mixing photography and digital illustration, Ms Naylor has established a signature collage aesthetic and methodology – a considered and respectful approach to the creation of site specific public art, working across three stages: initial research including documentative photography, the conceptualisation of design and rational and then realised through the act of painting in the public sphere.