Large Scale Magee Mural for Lismore Quadrangle


Renowned street artist Fintan Magee commenced painting a large-scale mural on the Lismore Library in the Lismore Quadrangle on Friday, 25 January.

Fintan was commissioned by Marisa Snow the Quadrangle Placemaking Officer in mid-2018 to paint the mural as a key feature of the 2019 Quadrangle creative program.

“Fintan’s work will become an iconic feature of The Quad for many years to come and we are thrilled to be featuring his work in the Quad precinct. Born in Lismore, Fintan has a long history of association with Lismore’s thriving street art scene and it’s fitting to honour his Lismore roots with this large-scale permanent work,” Placemaking Officer Marisa Snow said.

The Quad has partnered with Gnibi – Southern Cross University’s Indigenous School – to develop the theme for the portrait which celebrates intergenerational exchange of Bundjalung knowledge and language. The portrait will feature an Elder and a young person from the Widjubul Wiyabul clan of the Bundjalung nation to represent their significant role in the preservation and revitalisation of traditional language through Lismore’s language nest. The work’s broader theme represents the historic moment in 2017 when the New South Wales Government passed the nation’s first Aboriginal languages legislation at which Widjubul Wiyabul Elders were present. The message stick held in the portrait was painted by a young Lismore Widjubul man and was used in the message stick ceremony in Parliament House.

“Celebration and sharing of Indigenous culture is at the forefront of the Quad’s program and this work is a strong statement to solidify that vision into the future” Marisa Snow said.

Magee’s practice is informed by a profound interest in political murals, inspired by exposure at a young age to those in his father’s native Northern Ireland. This is reflected in the socialist nature of his public artworks, which combine journalistic elements with public art. Magee’s work is driven by his recognition of the power of murals to communicate political and social viewpoints and thus divide or unite communities. His earlier large-scale paintings often inhabited isolated, abandoned and broken corners of a city, and today are found all over the world including in London, Vienna, Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta, Buenos Aires, Copenhagen, Moscow, Rome, Jordan, and Dublin amongst others.

In recent years, Magee has solidified his position as one of Australia’s leading public artists and has travelled extensively, completing projects in countries across the world. Some of the most recent projects of note include his work in a refugee camp in Jordan in 2017 and his solo exhibition Waves at Mathgoth Gallery in Paris. In 2016, his solo exhibition Water World, at Backwoods Gallery in Melbourne, and a series of works on abandoned silos in Patchewollock, Victoria. He is presently preparing for a solo exhibition in Los Angeles.

Magee has been featured in The Sydney Morning Herald, Juxtapoz magazine, ABC News, The Australian, The Urban Contemporary Art Guide (2014, 2015), Street Art Australia (Lou Chamberlain), Graffiti Art (FR) Home & Design, Trends Magazine, Surface (Soren Solker) and DK, amongst others.

Fintan will be holding an artist talk at the Lismore Regional Gallery event space on Wednesday, 30 January from 5.30-6.30pm to discuss the mural and its process. This is a free event.

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