MURAL UNVEILED: Susie Capewell delivered her artist statement to St Joseph's Primary School on Monday, March 19.
MURAL UNVEILED: Susie Capewell delivered her artist statement to St Joseph's Primary School on Monday, March 19. Felicity Ripper

Artist paints a picture of community spirit at St Joseph's

TIME, talent and treasure, as principal Terese Shepard puts it, was the recipe for a community-inspired mural unveiled at St Joseph's Catholic Primary School in Gayndah.

Coinciding with St Joseph's Day, Mrs Shepard welcomed artist Susie Capewell to deliver her artist statement to the school on Monday before Father Biju Thomas blessed the spectacle.

With a group of fellow artists, Mrs Capewell has spent more than 140 hours planning, drawing and painting since August 2017.

When she sat down with the teachers at the first meeting they decided to start the mural at Ban Ban Springs because a lot of the students bus into school from the rural areas surrounding Gayndah.

"The whole idea was to bring community into the school,” Mrs Capewell said.

"I wanted to depict everything that's important to the students and our area.”

The mural features local landmarks, St Joseph himself, horses, native plants, cattle, portraits of students and the original nuns that ran the school.

"It really tells a story, not just of our school but of our town,” Assistant Principal in Religious Education Rebecca O'connor said.

After starting work on the mural last year Mrs Capewell became sick with Ross River Virus and was unable to stand for more than two hours, making it difficult to continue the artwork.

She said the project was only made possible by her helpers.

"Being sick really slowed things down. I enlisted the help of my dear friend Rachel Koster and the project could not have been finished without her,” she said.

Other key helpers included gifted students Levi Bryant, Jasmin McGregor, and Sienna Slattery as well as Karen Madden who sketched the saints Lourdes & Fatima.

Every 2017 St Joseph's student made their mark with a hand print preserved in the mural.


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