I’ve watched this mural unfolding along the eastern wall of Dimmy’s store in Richmond for several years. It’s the work of artist Hayden Dewar who returns to the site each summer to add the next section. The mural begins at the left hand end with the early history of Dimmy’s in the mid-19th century. It then manages to incorporate a wide range of Australian icons, both human and otherwise.
The mural seems to have achieved respect from other street artists and has largely escaped being ‘bombed’ (defaced) by taggers. An article in the Melbourne Age by Martin Flanagan (Monday June 7th, 2004) provides some background on Dewar. But there is really no substitute for visiting the site and taking your own look at a unique and often witty reflection of Australian history and culture. I would not be surprised to see it designated one day as a national treasure.
The pictures above show sections of the mural and Dewar working in mid 2006. Some of my favourite sections are also shown below. (To be continued)