A Nimbin Public Art Story

 In the lead up to the Aquarius Festival in May 1973, the Nimbin Village got painted up!

Vernon Treweke came up with the original idea. Graeme Dunstan liased with Johnny Allen to help get the project going and permission was sought from the shopkeepers.

The Rainbow Cafe was the first place painted by Vernon, featuring rainbow stars, .This inspired many other artisans, among them Lindsay Burke and Dick Weight, to spread the Rainbow theme to neighboring village buildings. The RSL was purchased by the Aquarius team, later to become the Media Centre, and was painted with a large Union Jack. The plumber 's shop became the learning exchange with a mural of flying saucers painted by Peter Painter which survived until 1992 Susukka Trading textile and craft gallery replaced it with a mural by Colleen Saulwick from Melbourne. Daisy's Cafe, had murals painted inside which  later  became the Nimbin Rocks Cafe.

In 1997, Graeme Dunstan as director of the Lismore Festival of Arts, facilitated a mural project to redo the Nimbin Facades. Benny Zable and friends designed and painted new murals. Rolf Harris was invited and weaved a story mural  while the children looked on and  gave instructions at the Nimbin Hall. The Rolf Harris mural  installation in the Nimbin Hall was removed in 1990 where a section of that mural can be seen on the Nimbin Museum Rainbow Lane wall.

The Sukyamuni (Healing) Buddha.

Norman and Carol (pioneers of Birth and Beyond) received from the Nepal Healing Centre a replica of a Sakyamuni Healing thanka, that was reference for a mural on the Nimbin Healing Centre, formally the Media Centre.

A traditional Buddhist "Dotting of the eyes ceremony took place on completion by the visiting monk Phra Kantopalo. Mandalas of the sun and moon made by John Seed were installed on either side of the mural. Frank de Rambelje painted the doors of the Healing Centre and the Rainbow Cafe 77-78.

The Richard Bingham era in the 80's and the mural restoration projects of the 90's.

The Nimbin personalities mural removed from the Newsagents' was replaced by a mural honoring the international year of Youth, co-coordinated by Richard Bingham. Throughout the 80's he revived the old and created new murals at the public school and above the Nimbin Garage honoring the international year of peace.

Paul Paitson replaced one of Richards murals with a spectacular Waterfall panel. Burri Jerome who painted the Nimbin Rocks facade and the interior of the Rainbow Cafe also painted a new mural over the Nimbin Garage.

The mural restoration 90's projects  saw the Tomato Sauce building  facade become  the Hemp Embassy Mardi Gras Billboard. The Tomato Sauce building was converted from a general store to a food co-op during the Aquarius Festival, was painted by Vernon Treweke with the famed Tomato explosion. Richard Bingham and Bob Hopkins were part of a group who painted the Tomato Sauce building during the period of the Youth Club and Neighborhood Centre tenancy period.

Elsbeth Jones painted up the facade to advertise the Hemp Mardi Gras and painted throughout the Nimbin Museum, together with Helen Rodriguez and Burris Jerome. They also  painted beyond the confines of buildings. Motor vehicles and found objects  are  some of the canvases for creation.

The Aboriginal Murals.

It was in the 1990's we  saw a period of Dreamtime murals painted by the Roberts family, comitioned by the Nimbin School of Arts to celebrate the International Year of Indigenous people. Alan Barker and Herbie Roberts added bits around town. Burri Jerome as mentioned in the last chapter had greatly contributed to the visual landscape of our village. The students from the Nimbin public school have received valuable tuition by our local Aboriginal artists.

The New Millennium

Alicia Murphy was comissioned by the Nimbin pub who painted the history of Nimbin on 5 panel. The pub also sponsored the lighting up of the murals.

This picture by Andi Islinger as part of his postcards "from the edge" series.