Gasworks Wall Mural 1977
Orange, New South Wales, Australia
Directed by David Humphries
Size approx 200 m x 4m.
In 1977 David Humphries returned to Australia and the NSW central western city of Orange asked him to direct a mural
on an entire city block (a wall around the old gasworks opposite the new civic center) Humphries had directed Orange's 1973 festival, and the talk on the grapevine about his murals was good.
The mural, an
integral part of the 1977 Orange Festival of Arts program was Australia's first large - scale outdoor community mural under the direction of a professional artist.
The main aim in the painting of the mural was to generate community involvement in the process. This approach generated
enthusiastic community participation in the festival. The invitation to help in the painting was well and truly taken up by the Orange community.
The gasworks mural unfolded magnificently. With its swooping crop dusting planes, sanguine cows, weird emus and fanciful rural
scenes, it was a huge entertainment and a positive success that soon became a community portrait of the town.
It brought the visual arts into the public domain and visually enhanced the landscape.
The wall quickly became a tourist attraction.
"From Orange, the mural movement really took off. "said Humphries. ''Forget any idea that country towns are the backwoods of conservatism and the city the
place for daring art.
I've found country communities more cohesive and more receptive to trying something new - perhaps because they've been denied a lot''.