Port Lincoln's 'LOVE' letters given cultural coat of paint

LOVE: Barngarla artist Vera Richards next to the LOVE sign which she painted over with a cultural theme. Photo: Jarrad Delaney
LOVE: Barngarla artist Vera Richards next to the LOVE sign which she painted over with a cultural theme. Photo: Jarrad Delaney

'LOVE' has returned to the Port Lincoln foreshore, but with a element of reconciliation added thanks to an artistic contribution by a Barngarla artist.

Port Lincoln City Council and Port Lincoln Chamber of Commerce and Tourism have collaborated with Barngarla artist Vera Richards to create a mural on the LOVE sign for Australia Day.

The letters first appeared on the foreshore last year on Valentines Day thanks to an initiative by the chamber with Ms Richards providing a storytelling journey through her artwork.

The artwork reflects the natural surroundings and the connection we all have with the earth.

Ms Richards said it took eight days to complete the project, including two for prep work, and it was a chance to spread some love which was needed "considering the state the world's in."

"It's come out on Australia Day, it's Australia Day for some and Survival Day for others but this is about building a bridge to bring everyone in the community together because we all live in this beautiful place we call home," she said.

"It's time we take care of our land because we've been taking so much and haven't been giving back so it's time to give back and spread the love vibration."

Port Lincoln City Council mayor Brad Flaherty said the LOVE sign had taken on a new meaning with the addition of the artwork, reflecting aspects of respect and reconciliation.

"To me it displays a single approach that we are all in Australia together, among friends together and this is a physical symbol of that," he said.

"Australia Day is about coming together, reflecting on the past, respecting everyone's story and celebrating what an incredible place we share together as a community."

Chamber chairperson Sharni-Marie Barney said it was exciting to collaborate with the council on this project to fit this year's Australia Day theme of 'Reflect - Respect - Celebrate'.

"The Chamber are honoured to be a part of this project that sees a transformation of the artwork through the talents of local Barngarla artist Vera Richards, which will be prominently showcased on the foreshore on Australia Day as a symbol of community working together as we Reflect, Respect and Celebrate this beautiful place on Barngarla Country," she said.

The LOVE sign will be on display on the foreshore until Valentine's Day.

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