The cycle path along Bendigo’s Back Creek will get a burst of colour in the coming months.
Reece Hendy is one of four artists who will complete the Project Underpass on the underside of four bridges along the Back Creek cycle path.
“I have been searching for places to paint in Bendigo for a long time. I’ve done quite a few commissions but there are no legal walls in Bendigo,” he said.
“Our initial idea was a mural festival but that is hard with so many heritage listed buildings in Bendigo.
“So we scrapped that and partnered with Bike Bendigo to apply for the grant. What Bike Bendigo bring to table is a lot of community involvement which helped get the wheels in motion.”
The underpasses at Miller Street, Williamson Street and Mundy Street will be the canvases for the work to be completed by the four artists thanks a grant from the Regional Centre for Culture and Creative Victoria.
“We have been painting under those bridges for years because it is a non-offensive place to paint,” Mr Hendy said.
“It’s not in view and you get the chance to practice without defacing a business or anyone’s property.
“The support we have for (the Project Underpass) had from the community and and council is phenomenal. It’s above beyond what expected.”
Artist Chonny was the first to finished her mural this week.
Mr Hendy hopes that other artists and tagger respect the work that has gone into the bridges.
“The graffiti scene in Bendigo is a bit underdeveloped,” he said.
“There’s not really a forum or a moral code (in regards to) painting over people work. There’s no forum to develop (that code).
“We’re hoping the legit artists go down there and paint and the taggers stay away.”
The cyclist’s path along Back Creek looks set to go under McIvor Highway, which would be another blank canvas for Mr Hendy and his artist friends.
“They’re in the process of building it and it is huge in terms of cyclists cutting through traffic,” he said.
“Overall, what we’re aiming to do is turn the cyclist trail that connects La Trobe to the CBD into an artists trail.
“Who knows what the future holds, maybe sculptures or other installations can go in there. We’re laying the groundwork for it.”
Artists and community groups are using the hashtag #projectunderpass on social media.
“It is a great way for people to seek out individual posts or add pictures and get the community’s take on our work,” Mr Hendy said.