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Pipeline mural launched at Apamurra
Palmer residents are celebrating a space-themed design on an SA Water pipe, while Murray Bridge waits for its silo artwork.
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Bill Nehmy remembers being hoisted onto the Mannum to Adelaide water pipeline as a child and balancing along the top.
He’d be the first to admit that that was decades ago, and even then people were talking about painting the pipeline.
Now – with the silo art craze well established and tourism authorities looking for the next big thing – a section at Apamurra has been painted with one of South Australia’s first serious pipeline murals.
Artist Jack Fran’s work features a pelican, in a nod to the River Murray, and space scenes, in recognition of the River Murray Dark Sky Reserve.
Mr Nehmy, a tourism development manager for the Murray River, Lakes and Coorong, said the planets had aligned to bring the project together in a short space of time.
The Palmer Collier Park Community Association originated the idea, a visiting silo art expert offered some guidance in April, and Mr Fran was able to get the job done last week after another of his projects was cancelled.
“We’ve created history in creating something that a lot of people said couldn’t happen,” Mr Nehmy said on Monday, as the finished work was unveiled.
“This pipeline, I believe, can tell a big story for this region.”
Members of the Palmer association hoped the mural would encourage more visitors to stay and spend time in the area.
The artwork was commissioned by SA Water and the Palmer Collier Park Community Association, supported by donations from the Mannum Motel and paint company Dulux.
Murray Bridge will have to wait a bit longer for its silo artwork
The silo art expert who advised Mr Nehmy on the pipeline project, Amanda Green, also visited Murray Bridge on a whistle-stop tour of the Murraylands in April.
Although the city was much bigger than most of the other towns which hosted silo artworks, she expected the same benefits – more visitors and more spending – to flow.
“From a visitor perspective it’s still a regional town, and it’s only an hour from Adelaide,” she said.
“You have a gallery, business opportunities and other layers for visitors to explore once they get here.”
Signage beneath the silos could direct people to nearby sights, eateries and accommodation, she suggested.
Murray Bridge’s silo art project has had to be pushed back, as artist Sam “Smug” Bates is currently in Liverpool, in the United Kingdom, working on a mural based on a dream psychologist Carl Jung once had about the city.
He recently finished another silo artwork in Horsham, Victoria.
Still, Mr Nehmy suggested, large-scale artworks would give any community bang for its buck, whenever they were completed and whether they were mounted on a silo or a pipeline.
“Tourism is about the story,” he said.
“People love to find out something they don’t know and tell their friends.”