A public art project to combat graffiti and vandalism has been completed in Mona Vale.

The mural by artist David Cragg is called ‘Midnight Dream’ and adorns a large wall next to an open car park. Visible from Bungan Lane, the work wraps around the wall and along the rear of the building at 20 Bungan Street.

Mr Cragg described the work as a celebration of local endangered flora and fauna as well as an acknowledgement of his indigenous heritage.

“‘Midnight Dream’ champions the diverse and dazzling natural world that exists across the Northern Beaches,” he said.

“An endangered Regent Honeyeater and a bold Superb Fairy Wren take centre stage, framed by the rare and locally significant grevillea caleyi.

“Other endemic bushtucker species are woven through the composition, such as acacia wattle, blue-flax lily, lomandra longifolia, native geranium, banksias and Illawarra plums.

“Key bushtucker species like these benefit pollinators like birds and bees, while nectar distributors like the Regent Honeyeaters are crucial to healthy forests and ecosystems.

“Rainbow trees reference my Bundjalung and Biripai heritage as well as First Nations peoples continued connection to the Land and Dreaming,” said Mr Cragg.

As part of the project, Mr Cragg mentored a group of budding local street artists — Karla Hayes, Harley Stevenson, Nina Korgul, Tom Watson and Cody Twohill.

Ex-Pittwater High School student Harley Stevenson enjoyed learning what to do when faced installing a work on a large wall.

“I’m so stoked to be involved in this, I can’t believe it,” he said.

Mr Cragg said the team received plenty of feedback while the work was being installed, particularly from ‘older folk’ who he said would call out to the team, “This is great, we love this.”

The space identified for the work was a large blank wall deemed suitable by Northern Beaches Council. The native tree in front of the wall was retained as part of the work.

Funding for the work was provided by the Crime Prevention Division of the NSW Department of Communities and Justice in response to anti-social behaviour and damage in public spaces in the Mona Vale and Newport area.

Northern Beaches Council administered the work and support was provided in-kind by Kennards Hire, Mona Vale, including a cherry picker to access the height of the wall, and the building owners of 20 Bungan Street.

A high number of graffiti-related incidents occur in the area. One aim of the mural was to engage a group of young people to assist with the installation of the work, creating a sense of belonging and ownership.

Council has previously supported the installation of mural artworks. A mural installed five years ago on the side of the Modus Operandi Brewing Company in Mona Vale remains undamaged by vandalism.

Northern Beaches Council has published a video of the work being installed by David Cragg and his team.

Images: Northern Beaches Advocate