Gold Coast Youth Foyer_Legacy Mural Project

A LEGACY OF TRANSFORMATION

GOLD COAST YOUTH FOYER LEGACY MURAL

Earlier in the year we were approached by long-time friend and amazing First Nations artist Lisa Sorbie Martin to be part of a project called the Legacy Mural for Gold Coast Youth Foyer. GCYF supports young people who are experiencing homelessness or disadvantage on the Gold Coast through housing and support services. So when Lisa asked us to be part of the process, we jumped at the chance to get involved with a great organisation doing such great things. 

Still in its infancy, GCYF were looking for ways to make their outdoor communal area more welcoming and vibrant to encourage use of the space; to see it fulfil its potential as a hub of community & activity, and a place where residents could hang out and feel at home. 

Our role in the project was to partner with Lisa to facilitate discovery workshops with the residents, co-create the mural concept, and to bring our extensive experience in large-scale painting projects to ensure a smooth execution. 

WHAT WE DID

WORKSHOP FACILITATION
ARTWORK CO-CREATION
MURAL INSTALLATION
PAINTING FACILITATION

CONTRIBUTORS

Gold-Coast-Youth-Foyer_Legacy-Mural_Final-Design_Portrait

CO-CREATING A MEANINGFUL CONCEPT

This project needed to be more than just a typical mural. It needed to be a legacy piece that represented the original group of residents that GCYF welcomed; to act as a mark in time, a celebration of what the foyer brings to the lives of its young folk, and as a message to new residents as they enter GCYF for the first time. In order to do all that, we needed to capture the personalities, feelings and experiences of the current residents. Our method of choice was co-creation.We did this through meet & greets and workshops which were all about bringing emotions to the surface, group-led discussion, and turning insights into visual representations through symbolism, patternation and mark-making. 

Representation was another key aspect of the project we really needed to get right, especially in regards to First Nations culture and acknowledgement to country. As a proud Torre Strait Islander and cultural advocate, Lisa steered our ship in these waters, helping our team navigate group discussions and lean into her expertise and experience. 

We didn't want co-creation and representation to merely be part of the process, we also sought a way to honour them in the final mural concept. We landed on a layered design that features original drawings and markings from Lisa, us and GCYF residents, and utilises three different forms of communication to convey it's message (through colour, pictures and the written word). 

Artists, residents and support team all paint the mural together
Kiel teaching a youth the tricks of the painting trade
Matt Slavin of Gold Coast Youth Foyer joins in on the mural painting, he paints a purple banksia tree
Artist Lisa Sorbie paints the mural alongside youth worker Connie
One of the Foyer residents paints the mural
One of the youth residents in the zone, painting a blue banksia tree
Gold-Coast-Youth-Foyer_Legacy-Mural-Project_Paint-close-up
Gold-Coast-Youth-Foyer_Legacy-Mural-Project_Tillman-Creative-Co
Lisa paints a corner of the mural
Gold-Coast-Youth-Foyer_Legacy-Mural-Project_Kiel-Tillman-painting

FACILITATING A COMMUNITY MURAL INSTALL

From the start, GCYF wanted to get their youth involved as much as possible. Once the mural design was finalised, we worked with Matt (GCYF Team Leader) to plan our installation dates to ensure as many residents as possible would be around to watch, join in if they wanted to, or just hang out with us as the space transformed.

Over the 3-day install, we all got to experience some magic moments when residents would drop in for an hour or two to join the painting crew, or to just have a chat about what we were doing and why. As the days went on, we found that many of the residents enjoyed creative outlets (like drawing, painting, writing and making music), which was an awesome way to connect and break down some barriers, and even chat about career paths from our own experience in the creative industries.

A front view of the finished mural art
The final mural artwork

"Lisa and Tillman Creative Co. are not only incredible at what they do, they’re equally amazing human beings! This unique combination made working with them nothing short of a pleasure. From beginning to end, they provided an excellence of service second to none. I highly recommend."

MATT SLAVIN  |  GCYF LEADER

A group of artists, residents and support workers standing in front of the finished mural, smiling and cheering

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