Burns Lane Mural
- May 2021
The Burns Lane mural, a temporary site activation by artist Bronte Naylor, was painted as part of Singleton Council’s Firelight Festival in 2021. This work, installed in Burns Lane, was part of the Living Laneways project, funded through a NSW Government, Streets as Shared Spaces grant from the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment. Designed as a Covid response action plan, this program intended to bring new life, community interaction, a heightened sense of morale and a boost to local economy through the activation of spaces for Singleton and other regional NSW towns.
The mural, installed on the lane’s road surface, accompanied another work installed in the street, an interactive media work by German-born artist Ralph Kenke. Clouds was to give inspiration for Bronte’s design, which was painted to respond to the suspended media orbs, interacting with both colour, light and form. These works were intended to allow for playful engagement by the viewer. Through bringing pedestrians into this space, and with the road’s closure over the festival long weekend, these works invited the Singleton community to reclaim the road in an act of disruption, prompting commentary and discussion about the use of public space. The works were a great success with thousands attending over the festival period.
Naylor’s over ten-year career as a mural artist is not surprising given her practice-led research investigated the use of public and private space. Naylor’s research raises questions around the hierarchy of place through the ‘challenging and questioning of how “ownership” of land is enforced in Australia’. Naylor describes her research methods of visiting, uninvited, to these places as ‘acts of defiance and performance’. The performative nature of mural making, is perhaps something that initially drew Naylor to working as a mural artist for both councils and private business, and for festivals such as Newcastle City Council’s Big Picture Festival. These projects are a form of site activation, with this reclamation of space by artist and audience being at the heart of such happenings.
Bronte’s impressive work history has seen her work in Public Art at a local, national, and international level with commissions for Cairns, Port Kembla, Brisbane, Newcastle and also within a busy urban Indian city. Her artistic practice has enabled her to build an extensive exhibition portfolio with some notable achievements being her award of Runner up for Maitland Regional Gallery’s Brenda Clouton Memorial Art Scholarship and most recently with Naylor curating a group exhibition being shown at the University of Newcastle Gallery.
For further information and enquiries, contact: Brontë Naylor (bronte-naylor.com) or @brontenaylor.