Towering high over the railway lines in the Melbourne suburb of Brunswick is a large scale image of New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern. Created by local artist Loretta Lizzio it has been painted onto an old grain silo which still stands in the area.
The mural is a copy of a famous image taken in March 2019. This was just days after a terrorist attack killed 50 Muslims praying at two mosques in Christchurch. The resultant outpouring of grief was felt around the world. In particular it was exemplified in the compassion shown by Ardern when visiting the survivors and families of the victims.
Leading the World
Following the attack a crowdfunding page was set up to create a mural featuring the image. “Jacinda Ardern led the world after the shootings” it said. “Her complete embrace of the islamic community, and in fact of all New Zealanders as part of a whole that can never be divided by hate, has been both beautiful and powerful to witness.”
It was an image, which according to the organisers, had become a beacon of tolerance, love and peace in divisive times. The artist of choice to paint the mural Loretta Lizzio also donated her time to create the giant artwork. Standing over 75 ft tall it’s certainly one of the largest in the area.
Melbourne is certainly the kind of city which would embrace a mural like this. Known for it’s street art and graffiti scene you don’t need to look far to find artworks on the street. Indeed, just down the road overlooking the Brunswick train station is another large scale mural from Loretta.
Silo Art too has become very popular in Australia over the last few years. Though generally the giant murals seen on them are in more remote places. We wrote about our visit to the trail in the Wimmera Mallee here which features work by some of Australia’s best muralists. The one in Brunswick is a rare survivor of a silo in the city.
Symbol of Hope
The mural of Jacinda Ardern in Melbourne is a prominent show of solidarity and support to those affected by the attacks in Christchurch. What’s more it has become a symbol of hope. It is an image which is all about compassion. To the viewer it makes you remember, that despite the fact that horrible things do happen, there are also many more people who want to make the world a better place.
The Jacinda Ardern mural in Brunswick, Melbourne was visited on Saturday 16 November 2019. The mural was created by Australian artist Loretta Lizzio and was supported by a GoFundMe campaign.