Churinga Walkway, Kilsyth, 2014
Pollen Studio, in collaboration with Daniel van de Wiel of SafeHouse Studio, were commissioned by the Shire of Yarra Ranges to develop a community art project for the Churinga shopping centre in Kilsyth. The project was funded by the Victorian State Government’s Adopt-A-Spot program to discourage illegal graffiti and promote a greater sense of pride within the local community. The project became known as The Blank Canvas project as all options for the wall were kept open and design elements were guided by public opinion. We worked closely with residents of the neighbouring Walmsley Retirement Village as well as local youth groups to create a trans-generational piece that spoke to many sectors of the community. Pollen conducted workshops with Gladesville and Kilsyth primary schools to raise awareness of the project and also to make components of the final installation. Daniel encouraged local graffiti artists to come and be part of the project to create a further sense of ownership of the space and discourage continual defacement of public property.
Pollen also developed a series of urban design suggestions for the site in response to the community consultation sessions that were undertaken. We believe that the mural is the first step in a greater urban revitalisation process for Kilsyth that will continue to be driven by the local community and Council.