Singing magpies, a pelican gliding on the water and a collection of lifelike furry native Australian animals have all emerged at the Deniliquin Children’s Centre this week as part of a collaborative arts project.
Edward River Art Society members received funding to deliver the project, which is designed to delight the centre’s students and staff, as well as locals and visitors using the adjacent Deniliquin Lagoons Walk.
ERAS president Pam Wettenhall said the overall aim of the project was to transform what were unsightly shipping container storage sheds at the centre.
And she said this was only stage one of the project.
‘‘We felt the containers were ugly in an otherwise beautiful space, and ERAS thought we could do something to add a bit of happiness to the area,’’ Mrs Wettenhall said.
‘‘We received an Edward River Council community grant last year, but were unable to start it when planned because of COVID-19.
‘‘We initially had Gus (Shane) Seymour paint the containers, which made a big difference to start with, and we’ve been painting the animals in the mornings before the heat sets in and the paint dries on us too quickly.
‘‘With our next grant we want to create 10 panels that will sit side-by-side on the fence — some facing in toward the Children’s Centre playground and others toward the lagoon.
‘‘On the centre side we intend to depict the seasons, and on the other we may paint some of the birdlife you can find at the lagoons.’’
The painting designs were developed in consultation with the Deniliquin Children’s Centre, with the magpies, pelican, wombat, joey, possum and puggle (or baby echidna) representing the names of the classrooms at the centre.
The paintings are being completed by Mrs Wettenhall, Lindy Bright, Jenny Rouke, who had assistance from fellow ERAS member Jan Harris regarding design and placement of the paintings.
Deniliquin Children’s Centre general manager Felicity Michael said the children have loved watching the artists at work in the playground, and appreciate the chance to further improve the play space.
‘‘It makes the whole environment so much more welcoming, and we are so lucky to have such talented and generous members of the Edward River Art Society,’’ Mrs Michael said.
‘‘We also want to thank council for supporting this project through its grants program.’’