Project Name – Bigge Park Art & Lighting Project
Amanda Newman & Natalie L.Simmons
Friends of Tiddalick
The artwork is located throughout Bigge Park Splash Park.
Within Bigge Park is a family orientated water play area that presented the perfect opportunity for a series of fun, water-themed mural designs. Our collaboration culminated in a cohesive concept that draws on First Nations culture with a modern and kid-friendly approach.
We chose to tell the story of Tiddalick the Frog; a cherished Aboriginal Dreamtime story about a greedy frog who drank up all of the water, leaving none for any other animals. The mural depicts the animals tricking Tiddalick into returning the water to the billabong.
The water themed design continues along the other walls, creating a united and inviting environment. Even more indigenous water-themed animals can be found painted on the ground throughout the area, expanding on the story of Tiddalick as well as creating a fun, interactive animal search and find activity for the kids.
Our hope is that these mural sparks a sense of curiosity amongst children and the public as a whole and ignites deeper conversations about Aboriginal culture.
Tiddalick the Frog
Aboriginal Dreamtime Story
Tiddalick is a frog who drank all of the fresh water in the billabong. The animals took turns trying to make him laugh to get the water to spill back out of his mouth. Eventually the snake got him to laugh and everyone could finally quench their thirst.
Lead Artist Name: Amanda Newman
Amanda Newman is a mural artist and signwriter originally from New York, who moved to Melbourne, Australia in 2019 and never looked back. She is known for her soft, realistic painting style, and for her street art pieces that bring attention to societal issues.
In a professional capacity, Newman has painted everything from children’s rooms to entire theme parks, and everything in between. She is passionate about teaching the younger generations about both societal issues and lesser-known artistic career paths.
In short - Newman strives to use her talents to educate and make a difference in all environments. Newman received her Bachelor of Science with Honours in Studio Art/Art History from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY. She also studied Drawing at the Victoria College of the Arts in Melbourne. Newman has travelled throughout the United States, as well as Singapore and South Korea for her work, before calling Melbourne her home.
First Nations Local Artist Collaborator: Natalie L. Simmons
Like many before me, being an aboriginal artist takes something. I find testing myself in different mediums, styles and projects feeds my soul in learning something new that I can pass on to others. Partnering with Amanda has provided me with the opportunity to further hone in on my craft of storytelling and more importantly, build on the connection to land with others, be it indigenous and non-indigenous.
I didn’t realise until having the initial conversations with Amanda, how this will shape our children’s interest and connection to our culture through storytelling. It’s a passion of mine and an area I continually want to excel and develop in. Personally, this project means more to me than the stories and creativity that’s on display. It’ll mean that, for generations to come, long after our spirit has left this land, others can come experience and enjoy this, leaving a part of our legacy.