Adelaide Mail Exchange


MAIL EXCHANGE Cafeteria AdelaideSouth Australia 1977
Community Mural project by David Humphries
Size approx 500 sq meters
Commissioned by the Commonwealth Department of Construction   

This mural covered all the interior walls of the staff cafeteria of the mail exchange in Adelaide and became a comprehensive internal environment. Staff questioners and surveys established the themes. Much of the imagery came from stamps, postcards and other visual material familiar to the staff of the Exchange. The staff not only contributed ideas but also painted the mural. As the project gained momentum, the families of staff, their friends and art students joined in. This was the first community mural to be done in the 'workplace'. The artist felt that an individual's artpiece would be an imposition in the staff's recreational area, so the approach was to involve the staff in creating their own art. After all, some people would have to live with it for their entire working life.
The end result, a funny and fascinating collage of big bright primitive fantasies, emphasis on Australiana nostalgia, is a product, says David of their collective imagination.