Customers waiting for their coffee and croissants and drivers along Horatio Street have no doubt had their eye caught by a striking pink-hued mural painted along the fence at french patisserie Althea by Zin recently.
Painted by local artist Emily Van Reason, the mural takes inspiration from Mudgee's 'nest in the hills' moniker and the Kandos-area landmark colloquially known as 'nipple mountains'. Examine the work closely and you'll notice, right in line with Pink Up Mudgee month, that the mountains are in fact breasts.
Painted in a traditional landscape composition, Emily said she wrestled with making the work as inclusive as possible. "I wanted all the breasts to be different, because there's such a myriad of differences in in all women, and I wanted it to be something that wasn't exclusive," Emily said.
"I think it was more about trying to make sure that it was applicable to everybody and to be something that was pleasurable to see, as well as raising awareness."
Emily and Althea owner Kim Currie came to work together on the mural after Kim saw a large Pink Up banner on her way out of town and knew she wanted to do something to be part of Pink Up Mudgee and a little flair to the building which already features another work by Emily.
"I thought perhaps we could do something in an artistic bent that would create awareness and have some fun," Kim said.
"And then once Emily and I started talking about it, we were talking about the fact that not only in this region, where it's such a luxurious landscape - we have mountains called nipple mountain, and then we had a giggle about it being 'nest in the nipples'.
"The more I thought about it, the more I realised that the cultures that I grew up with too - Polynesian cultures - like many other ancient cultures, it's very symbolic - the female form and landscape. So that's a nice coincidence. And I like the fact that that... there's historic cultural significance of landscape and female form, and the synergies between those things."
Thanks to time constraints brought on by COVID restrictions, Emily had to adapt and improvise a little when it came to painting the colorbond fence. "By about 10 o'clock in the morning, the sun was heating up the back of the fence," Emily said.
"I found that the paint was drying before I could really do that then changed my original idea and wanted to have a very blended colour quality. So then I had to revert to more of a layering style.
"Each one [painting] has its own challenges, each one is a new experience."
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