BRIGHT IDEA: Artist Bill Gannon with a large mural that was under construction at the CQUniversity North Rockhampton campus but now completed.
BRIGHT IDEA: Artist Bill Gannon with a large mural that was under construction at the CQUniversity North Rockhampton campus but now completed. Chris Ison ROK131016cuniart1

Outback adventure leads to art trail idea for CQUniversity

A TRIP to an outback town that has 18,000 people by a handful of community leaders is the sparking point for a major mural project under way at CQUniversity.

Artist Bill Gannon told The Bulletin that he went with CQUni Vice- Chancellor Scott Bowman and Livingstone Mayor Bill Ludwig to Broken Hill in June this year.

He said what was amazing about the small country town was that it has a rich history of art, including being the home of the Brushmen of the Bush - five artists who held about 50 exhibitions and raised more than $1.5 million for the Royal Flying Doctors Service. The region features more than 20 art galleries, outnumbering the number of pubs, and includes 12 sandstone pieces in the desert.

Gannon said the group he travelled with were impressed by the energy of this community.

He said in July, Mr Bowman contacted him to discuss how that energy could be applied to a place like the university campus.

Gannon has experience replicated native Australian flora and fauna after following the footsteps of explorer and botanist Ludwig Leichhardt who travelled from Brisbane to Darwin in 1844-1845.

Gannon travelled the same route, camped at around 100 locations, and developed a collection of 15 oil paintings and countless field drawings from his 15-month journey.

He also has experience doing murals, with one notable piece still featured in the region - the mural in Pie Alley which he worked on with his son Luke.

Gannon will spend the next year painting working on the project three days a week at the North Rockhampton CQU campus.

Mr Bowman said it was hoped the campus would become a tourist attraction once the project was complete.



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