Street art brings vibrancy to Commercial Road

Artists Scott Rathman and Moh Awudu take a moment to reflect on their stunning street mural.
Artists Scott Rathman and Moh Awudu take a moment to reflect on their stunning street mural.

As the dust settles from the Desert Fringe, a permanent reminder remains in the heart of Port Augusta's main street.

The stunning mural, painted by the 2020 SANAA artists, is a welcome addition to the city's growing collection of street art.

The talented SANAA group, comprised of artists from around Africa as well as familiar face Scott Rathman, painted the mural on the side of the old Fire Station over two-days.

The project culminated in an evening of world music from Adelaide based African Australian musicians Elsy Wameyo, Bortier Okoe and Port Augusta local Tahlia Mae.

SANAA Founder Victoria Lewis said the mural is a way to promote greater cultural understanding within the community.

"A lot of the artists use murals as a form of social change - it's a way to communicate to the people, communicate to the masses," she said,

"We are all about unity, standing together and working together so it's bringing people together from all cultural backgrounds and working as one."

Students from Port Augusta West Primary School were also apart of the collaboration, seizing the opportunity to pick up a paint brush.

Students from Port Augusta West Primary School collaborated on the project.

Students from Port Augusta West Primary School collaborated on the project.

Artist Moh Awudu said the mural is a reflection of what is important to Port Augusta.

"We did a workshop with the kids out here to ask them what is so important to them," he said.

"Having this older aboriginal man here ... It's high time we let the kids know that you have to respect your teacher and there's people you can learn about your culture from."

While the finished project is a stunning reminder of what it means to live in Port Augusta, the artists only met for the first time on day-one of the project.

"Coming from Africa, there are a lot of similarities between our cultures," Scott said.

"He (Moh) has been able to draw on my local knowledge of having family ties with Port Augusta and it's just really good to work together and have that respect for each other.

"For me it's about capturing what are significant parts of Port Augusta, probably the most recognisable things that visitors who come here would recognise, but also the locals have always mentioned.

"We are capturing the Gulf, Flinders Ranges and Redbanks and then of course we have got the Aboriginal figure in the middle to go back to the whole thing of respecting our elders and learning from them."