What began as an admiration of the botanical artworks of Chef Sean Moran through social media and in Galah magazine led Upper Peel Landcare Group to propose a Nundle Community Garden mural by local artist Natasha Soonchild celebrating the homegrown food and gardening culture of Nundle and Hanging Rock. Because of Nundle's distance from large centres, the closest regional city being 50 kilometres away, the town has a history of proactive self-sufficiency. This shows in the many community members who grow their own food, a cheaper, more flavoursome and lower food miles alternative to regularly travelling to Tamworth. This horti-culture draws the community together sharing the experience of battling the weather and pestilence, harvesting, cooking, swapping, preserving, pickling and fermenting. Natasha's mural, made possible by Tamworth Regional Council's Public Art Fund, tells this story and more.
Natasha grew up in Nundle and after studying and working elsewhere, returned to Nundle and opened Stormcrow Studio. In Natasha's artist's statement she writes, "This mural tells a story inspired by the verdant environment of Nundle through the prism of old botanical drawings, a great passion of mine. My aim was for it to be a poetic storytelling showcasing the abundance of our local nature and connection to the land. It is a celebration of nature, its colours, variety, poetry and tenacity. Thank you to the Nundle Land Care Group, the Nundle Community Garden and Tamworth Gallery for trusting me with this mural, I hope it shows the love I hold for this land, its people and the magic I feel at the heart of Nundle. "
The Nundle Community Garden mural is the latest in Tamworth Regional Council's ongoing public art program for the region.
“Public art is a fantastic way to connect community, and we are proud to be able to support a local artist to bring this area of Nundle to life with the community garden,” said Tamworth Regional Council Director of Gallery and Museums Bridget Guthrie.
Tamworth Regional Council's most recent public art includes the murals 'Woman, Life Freedom' by Asiyeh Ansari, 'Bedtime Story' by Scott Nagy and Janne Birkner, and 'Beyond the Walls' by Jenny McCracken.
The Nundle Community Garden mural launch was all the best things that make small communities endearing; supportive like-minded friends, Welcome to Country, storytelling and smoking ceremony by Uncle Len Waters, live music by Nundle singer songwriter Jeff Gibson, and delicious generous catering by Nundle Fuel and Cafe.