A giant Progress Pride flag mural has been painted outside the Town Hall in the Victorian city of Bendigo ahead of the city’s annual Pride celebrations.
The local council and the festival have unveiled the artwork comes ahead of the 17-day festival which starts on March 18.
Bendigo Pride Festival director John Richards said the large public artwork is a special moment for the local community.
He hopes his region’s LGBTIQ+ community see the mural and know that Bendigo includes, respects and values them.
“I know a lot of people who grew up in Bendigo had a really rough time,” he told ABC News.
“It was hard to be queer here up until probably even 10 years ago.
“Loads of people left for Melbourne because they had to. They couldn’t live their true lives here.
“Just seeing the reaction from a lot of those people on social media, [seeing] the Town Hall having this flag in front of it… it’s really important to them.
“It’s really important to everyone.”
Bendigo mural uses Progress Pride Flag design
The mural uses the Progress Pride Flag design, created by non-binary artist and graphic designer Daniel Quasar in 2018.
The design incorporates the existing six-coloured Rainbow Flag. But it also adds a five-coloured chevron on one side in an arrow shape.
Within it is the pink, light blue and white of the Transgender Pride Flag and black and brown stripes representing queer communities of colour.
Bendigo Mayor Andrea Metcalf said the large mural is a symbol of the City of Greater Bendigo’s support for the local LGBTIQ+ community.
“It also demonstrates that Greater Bendigo is an inclusive and welcoming city,” Cr Metcalf said.
“I’m delighted to see it take pride of place in front of the Bendigo Town Hall.
“The new artwork adds to Bendigo’s vibrant street art scene and will become a great selfie spot where people can take images and share them across social media.
“It’s also great to see it installed in plenty of time for the Bendigo Pride Festival.”
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The huge mural was funded by the Council and painted by street art collective Nacho Station this month.
“The festival approached the City in February 2021 with the idea of painting a Pride Flag in a high-profile location to coincide with the festival,” Cr Metcalf said.
“Council was pleased to support the idea… I think it looks fantastic and will become a very popular attraction in the City Centre.”
The Bendigo Pride Festival begins on March 18, and runs until April 3. Find out more at the website here.
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