Terang Express
Alara Harris promotes marine protection at Warrnambool’s Blue Hole

FORMER Terang artist Alara Harris recently placed the final brush strokes on a large marine wildlife mural which aims to make viewers consider the impact of rubbish disposal. 

The mural adorns the front side of the restrooms at Warrnambool’s Blue Hole car park, covering more than 14 square metres.

The work depicts the natural beauty of marine life and the consequences of debris littering Australian oceans and coastlines.

Painted amongst the landscape and wildlife, common oceanic debris such as plastics, fishing nets, straws, cigarette butts and aluminium cans mar the idyllic scene.

Ms Harris said the mural features an Australian swellshark, a southern right whale with its calf, an Australian fur seal and a southern rock lobster. 

“I researched both native marine animals that are local to the area and the ways they are affected by plastics in the ocean,” she said.

Plastic Free Alliance founder Justin Harzmeyer originally approached Ms Harris in early 2019 with the mural concept and an offer to undertake a task over three times larger than her previous biggest mural, which is located at Terang College’s senior campus. 

“I’m very thankful to be part of the project,” she said.

“It gave me an opportunity to work on something bigger than I’ve ever done before, which pushed my limits, but the concept is also something I’m passionate about.

“I wanted to address the problem of rubbish in the ocean. To get people thinking about where their rubbish ends up.”

Ms Harris said the mural is a mixture of spray paint and exterior paint to allow the background colours to combine, creating a natural colouring which is more aesthetically effective than a single-coloured background.

“Some of the background was rolled on, and that’s just exterior house paint,” she said.

“The light blue is spray painted.

“The rest was exterior house paint and brushwork.”

The project, which took about two months to complete, was funded by a collaborative effort between Warrnambool City Council, Regional Arts Victoria and Fishcare Southwest.

The original concept art for the mural, which does not feature the debris, is being auctioned at facebook.com/plasticfreealliance.

The auction closes on Saturday, February 29.

All proceeds from the auction will go to Sea Shepherd Australia’s marine debris campaign.