Letters to the editor

LETTERS: Send letters to the editor to billie.harrison@fairfaxmedia.com.au.
LETTERS: Send letters to the editor to billie.harrison@fairfaxmedia.com.au.

Tumby art projects: the facts

I write this letter to address some misinformation, assumptions and confusion around some projects in our town, Tumby Bay, our silos mural and street art.

Firstly, the silos mural isn't taking money away from improving roads/infrastructure. It is fully funded through the Fund My Neighbourhood Project.

An application was entered, voted on by anyone that wanted to and received the fourth highest votes in SA! Some achievement for a small rural town. 

Anyone feeling there were more worthy projects had the same opportunity to apply.

Due to this success we now have Martin Ron, from Argentina, painting a stunning interpretation of Tumby Bay life that few residents or visitors haven’t experienced.

The image, despite other claims, is inspired by photographer Robert Lang, who generously allowed Martin to use his stunning photo of jetty jumping in Tumby Bay. Martin, one of the top 10 muralists in the world, on leaving Tumby Bay heads straight to Moscow to complete a mural for the soccer World Cup. So, at zero cost to our community, except for the those who have kindly contributed to this project, Tumby Bay will soon have a world class mural by a world class artist. What’s not to like?

Next is Colour Tumby Street Art event, on April 20 to 22, also a part of the ever-growing SALT Festival.

Possibly always a more contentious undertaking. The facts are this: eight walls painted by world class muralists, at zero cost to the community. In that line up is Cummins artist, James Pedler. 

It has been in part funded by a fundraising effort via our progress association/Colour Tumby team and a generous contribution by the same progress association with support from residents and businesses.

Five walls are privately owned, given by their owners, three are council owned and supported, one is controlled by our education department from whom permission was also received. Our school children are very excited about both projects. So, all walls have been knowingly provided by supporters, happy their walls will receive a world class mural at zero cost to them.

The commercial value of these murals is not to be underestimated. Agreements are in place that no wall will be painted with any subject likely to cause offence. 

Melbourne-based professional street art network Juddy Roller were engaged to ensure both projects are well managed, this is how we have these exceptional artists visiting our town. Founder Shaun Hossack visited Tumby Bay for two community meetings to explain the projects; everyone had the opportunity to attend these events.

No, we don’t know the exact subjects to be painted, that’s the pay off for having this opportunity, the artist gets to paint what they believe will show their skills and enhance our town best. Surely that just adds to the excitement. We do know they will be exceptional quality. 

Some people may not like individual murals, it is impossible to please everyone. Some people have even decided without seeing them that they won’t like them. 

You must keep in mind that if you don’t like them it doesn’t make them poor or ugly, it just means you don’t like it, someone else will. You may even like one someone else doesn’t.

Anyone trying to run a business in our town will know how hard it is and getting harder. Like it or not, we need visitors. These projects are proven to provide extra income for smaller rural towns like ours, it is already happening.

I am excited to see the results. It won't turn our town into a den of iniquity, so please don’t scaremonger or spread mistruths. Please view each piece of art for what it is, an exceptional piece of art, whether to your taste or not, it will be to someone's and that’s a good thing.


Tumby Bay resident, active progress association and Colour Tumby member