Esperance artists launch 'Dolphins' and 'Family's Journey' murals

Two interconnected murals on the outside of the Esperance Red Cross were officially launched today, August 16.

Local Nyungar artists Atheleen Thomas and Valma Schultz created the ocean-themed 'Dolphins' and the land-themed 'Family's Journey' respectively.

The two murals now have signage, explaining their stories and meaning.

Mrs Thomas said she was relieved the mural had turned out so well, as it was her first piece on this scale.

"I do a lot of portraits and smaller artworks, but it was a good experience to do something so huge," she said.

"It brought people in the community together. There was no sketching. It was straight onto the wall."

Mrs Thomas said she loved the water and tried to show through her mural how the water could change.

She said she would love to see more murals in town and would like to create a piece focused on animals.

Mrs Schultz said she drew inspiration from family members, both past and present, dream time stories and her family's connection to country.

"It shows a journey from inland coming to the ocean, the river system and different animals that connect the six traditional family groups to landmarks around Esperance," she said.

"It was a collaborative process with my family who helped paint and it included their thoughts as well."

Mrs Schultz said the murals had provided the community an opportunity see the Indigenous heritage and culture in the Esperance region.

"It has given a lot of people a different outlook on what Esperance means to us," she said.

"It has allowed us to share our knowledge and our culture through art form."

The murals are part of the Welcome to Country Mural Project, coordinated by Esperance Community Arts.

The project received funding from Regional Arts Australia's Regional Arts Fund and from the Australian Government's Indigenous Languages and Arts Program.