The director of the Big Picture Fest Joel Moore has reflected on the week long festival which saw five artists visit Pirie and create large scale mural artworks.
The festival has been an idea brewing for two years and with the right funding and idea generation, it was was able to come to life and has now left Pirie feeling a little more artistically inspired.
It was Joel’s aim to create a wider awareness of the culture that art can bring to a regional centre, especially Port Pirie as he described it as being a more “dry and semi-industrial” place.
“The aim and making sure you have a real diverse amount of art work and styles that are produced”, he explained.
“The idea of putting artwork in regional centres, a town like Port Pirie is something that was just of great interest to me and important for Pirie that didn’t have that aspect to it.”
The director leaned towards creating murals due to their accessibility aspect and says that now that they have started, more people in Pirie are putting their hands up to participate which is highly encouraging to him as an artist.
“By the time the festival came around, a lot of people were putting their hands up for walls and I thought wow it would’ve been fantastic, but the awareness that we have now and the calibre of work that they are seeing in the streets, just means that we are going to be able to do more stuff in Port Pirie.”
The success of the festival was gained by the feedback that the artists received first hand whilst they were painting. While some were not as supportive, yet once they learned and understood the meaning behind the murals, they came to see the importance.
“I think once we could talk to the general public and the people of Port Pirie and they understood that there was a lot of meaning behind the artworks, they really formed an attachment to it”, Joel explained. “Other walls people had automatic responses and loved it, we had people going around between the different sites and just enjoying that it was going on and obviously the people, to just walk past and engage was worth while.”
Joel would love to come back to Pirie to complete more works and says that with the right grant funding, they will be back for another festival.