Dakabin Railway Station Mural





These are images of a mural that I designed and painted for Queensland Rail 's  positive pARTnerships program for Dakabin station, in northern Brisbane, with the help of suggestions and actual paintings from the students at Dakabin state high school.  Alma Park zoo is nearby (hence the animals, all of which are either native to the area or kept at the zoo) and Dakabin High has a successful ag science department, hence the cattle.  Dakabin is a semi rural sort of area, with lots of bush, and the name means grass tree in the local aboriginal language.

Selected students from years 8 and 9  went through a design process to individually paint an image, starting with drawings of their chosen subjects, then trying out several designs through pencil and also painted colour thumbnails of the overall composition.  They then painted their image onto a precut aluminium panels (later fixed to the main mural panels).  Ryan Daffurn and Nick Leavey who I am partners with at Atelier Art Classes, assisted with this workshop process which took place over about 8 days.  I think the results were outstanding - we were amazed at how talented some of these twelve and thirteen year old painters were.

The main mural was designed on a cintiq tablet, with an overlay that positioned the ticket machines, benches etc as based on measurements taken on site, as well as arranging the students' pictures.  It was an interesting design challenge to create a landscape around these elements, and so necessarily these background images were painted digitally from imagination, with consideration of the type of landscape seen in the local area.  My main interests, as usual, were the flow of space, and the way the individual objects related to them, as well as the colour harmonies and contrasts.  My aim was to keep the background pictures high key, low contrast and harmonious in colour key, so the the students' paintings could "pop" against them, with their higher contrast and higher chroma colours.

The main background mural was painted on 24 aluminium panels at the Queensland Rail studio at geebung.  Mark Feiler and Ryan Daffurn assisted with the painting process.  The panels painted by the students were then fixed to the mural, frames painted around them, and the mural taken out to site.

I was particularly amazed to notice that the trees in the more greenish yellow of the murals (see first picture above) actually looked like they are emerging through the top of the shelter (in the frontal view of the shelter.)  It was not planned, I promise!