BEAUTIFUL MURAL: Niloufar Lovegrove with her mural on the Old Fitzroy Bridge on Victoria Parade.
BEAUTIFUL MURAL: Niloufar Lovegrove with her mural on the Old Fitzroy Bridge on Victoria Parade. Chris Ison ROK110418cpainting2

Dark pathway gets a bright facelift with our region's icons

WALKING under the old bridge can be a bit eerie, but now there is a new painting to brighten and liven the space.

Rockhampton woman and Australian Iranian artist, Niloufar (Nellie) Lovegrove, brought the space to life with her artistic magic.

"Niloufar has used her unique style and created the mural with printmaking techniques, themes and iconography,” Rockhampton Art Gallery director Bianca Acimovic said.

"It showcases some of what our region is known for and proud of - such as our beef, barra, the mighty Fitzroy and our native flora.

"It also uses a number of different motifs as a way of celebrating our region's multicultural society.”

Rockhampton Regional Council looked at installing the artwork as part of the new riverbank revival.

Niloufar Lovegrove with her son Kyle (5) beside her mural on the Old Fitzroy Bridge on Victoria Parade.
Niloufar Lovegrove with her son Kyle (5) admiring the work. Chris Ison ROK110418cpainting1

"It makes for a colourful addition to our revitalised Riverside precinct, and we are exploring opportunities for further public art throughout the city and region,” Ms Acimovic said.

Ms Lovegrove is a graphic designer, painter and printmaker whose work has been showcased in numerous exhibitions.

Highly acclaimed, her lino print was chosen to be in the Bayton Award 2017 exhibition.

Her work is distinctive for the use of Persian motifs in her compositions as well as her intricate details.

The artist put forward a design for the mural based on icons from our region.

"The core idea of the design has been to show off the elements that we are proud of as Australian in our region while celebrating our multicultural society, making it not only a colourful attraction to our newly redeveloped riverfront but also a meaningful one,” she said.

Rocky's bulls had to play a major part in the painting of course.

Taking inspiration from her background, Ms Lovegrove used Persian bulls to start with and modified them into brahmans to suit the Rockhampton region.

"It's hard to think of Rockhampton and not think of the presence of bulls in the region,” Nellie said.

"In this case they have been given a twist from the usual sights in the town by borrowing the frequently used symbol in Persia.

"As the result, an ancient symbol has been modified to represent our brahman flying: picturing the sky is the limit for the growth in our region.”

As the painting is set in front of the Fitzroy River, water life was a necessary feature.

"Our Fitzroy River houses the most diverse range of freshwater fish in Australia,” Ms Lovegrove said.

"There is a big potential that Rockhampton might also become not only beef capital but also barra capital of Australia.

"Therefore it seemed impossible not to use barras in this mural.”

The artwork is painted with outdoor paint and an anti-grafitti clear coating will be applied at the end to prevent the mural from being washed off if it gets dirty.

It hasn't been completed just yet and Ms Lovegrove is itching to get back into it after the school holidays.

"I can't wait to get back to it,” she said.

"It's awesome, it was hard work but I loved it.”

She has been doing some work on it for a couple of weeks now and has only had positive responses.

"Everyone so far I have only received positive feedback,” she said.

"It opens up the grey place, it's a spot that lots of cars go past and you also walk past it so people can look at the detail.”

Ms Lovegrove hopes it will be completed in the next few weeks.