Cooinda, inspired by Benalla’s Wall to Wall festival, commissioned local artist Mike Larkin to create a wall mural to beautify an outdoor area popular with residents.
The six-panel mural is more than 6m long and depicts the landscape, developments and culture of Benalla and rural districts ranging from pre-settlement through to today.
The artworks include hills, rivers, lakes, gum trees, indigenous people, farming, buildings of significance, people and gliders.
Mr Larkin spent more than six months researching and creating the mural scenes, which are based on discussions with Cooinda’s residents about photographs they chose to include.
Local councillors joined Benalla Rural City Mayor Don Firth at the opening.
Cr Firth said he loved the art and found the historical elements within it to be accurate.
‘‘Other than the early scenes, I’ve been part of most of what’s depicted,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s excellent and Cooinda is to be congratulated for doing this.
‘‘They sponsor things like this that nobody else has even thought of doing.
‘‘To put this in Cooinda and work with a local artist is fantastic.’’
Chief executive and director of nursing Margaret Aldous said the mural brought a new dimension to the outdoor area.
‘‘It is wonderful to see our residents gathering informally at our outdoor patio area, vividly discussing the different historical and cultural elements in the mural,’’ Ms Aldous said.
‘‘The project came about after a staff member came forward to say we should add some interest to one of our walls, similar to wall art, facing the outdoor area.
‘‘After some research, we approached local artist Mike Larkin to undertake the work.
‘‘We sincerely thank Mike for the large amount of voluntary time he spent researching and talking to his historical and art connections to achieve such an outstanding painting.’’
The public is welcome to view the mural, which includes Mr Larkin’s artist interpretative notes for reference.
If you wish to visit Cooinda to see the mural, please enter via reception weekdays between 9am and 5pm.
●For more information, phone Cooinda on 57613300.