The Primary playground at Matthew Flinders Anglican College is even more vibrant, colourful and playful thanks to renowned Australian artist Joel Moore, also known as Mulga the Artist.
Mulga visited Flinders on the Sunshine Coast as artist in residence from 4-6 May to paint a large-scale art mural and mentor students from Prep to Year 6.
Known for his unique Australian creations and signature style of intricate line work and bright colours, Mulga’s creations grace walls and objects across the world.
The mural was planned for 2020 to commemorate the College’s 30 years of foundation, however, it was delayed due to COVID.
While designing, Mulga researched and included current aspects of the College, its history and the natural rainforest environment fringing its 22-hectare campus.
The mural features local native plants and birds as well as citrus trees and Erol the Emu who is resident at the College’s on-site farm.
Also captured in the mural are the kangaroos that sometimes venture onto the Flinders sports ovals at sunrise and sunset.
Then there is a cartoon of explorer Matthew Flinders himself, alongside his cat 'Trim' who is wearing Mulga's signature style sunglasses.
Mulga created the mural with the help of some students in Year 6 who assisted with the actual painting stage.
The artists were not short of spectators, with students visiting during art class and break times to watch with fascination as the mural took shape.
Some Year 5 students sat alongside Mulga as he painted so that they could draw their own versions of some of the characters featured in the artwork.
Mulga also visited students during their art classes to share his story about becoming a successful artist, freelance illustrator, muralist, published author and designer.
Head of Primary Mrs Trudi Edwards said the College was delighted to finally have Mulga on campus to fuel students’ creativity.
“We value rich creative experiences at Flinders, and it was wonderful to see the passion and skills Mulga shared with our students,” Trudi said.
“We are simply thrilled with the playful manner in which Mulga has captured the spirit of our College in this artwork,” she said.
“The resultant mural truly celebrates our 30th anniversary and honours many aspects of our culture, environment and history.”
Flinders Head of Art Ros Braithwaite and Primary visual art teacher Emma Ferris recognised Mulga as an inspiring mentor for students.
“Mulga is a successful and adventurous artist who role models how art can be an incredibly rewarding full-time career,” Mrs Braithwaite said.
“He has a degree in business and is an artist and muralist. He is also an entrepreneur with a successful online business who has collaborated with many large popular brands.
“Our students can learn so much from him.”
Mrs Ferris said, “Mulga’s mural work was chosen for our College because his work is bright, fun, engaging and joyful.
“His style and spirit are perfect for our Primary School playground.”
Cover feature image: Joel Moore, Mulga the Artist, with students at Flinders Primary School after painting the art mural in May, 2021. The mural commemorates the College's 30 years of foundation in 2020.
Images below: Students visit Mulga the artist during construction of the mural to be inspired and paint their own creations.