UNMISSABLE: Artist Ross Driver in front of his mural, recognising our war heroes.
UNMISSABLE: Artist Ross Driver in front of his mural, recognising our war heroes. Contributed

Mural immortalises heroes

WITH a father who lived and breathed the army, Bundaberg artist Ross Driver can remember growing up with a crew cut and military life flowing into the general running of his family home.

It's the reason his interest in depicting war through drawings and paintings began and many years on, his passion still remains.

Mr Driver is well known in the Bundaberg Region for his beautiful paintings, having recently showcased his exhibition Road to Victory, which clocked up the most number of gallery visitors when it was featured at Childers Art Space.

Now, his most recent project is on display in Bundaberg but it won't be found hung up on the walls of a gallery.

Instead it is in plain sight, with Mr Driver admitting it was a piece that would be pretty hard to miss.

"This particular piece stands at 3.1 metres high and 24 metres long,” Mr Driver said.

The painting, titled Australian War Nurses Centenary of Armistice Mural, has been placed on a water tank on Bourbong and Takalvan Sts.

The mural overlooks the War Nurses Memorial Park and was a special project to commemorate the Centenary of the Armistice that ended the First World War in 1918.

Mr Driver said the large mural was composed of six images, some depicting our war nurses over the past 100 years.

"This project came about after I was approached by the Bundaberg and District Ex Servicewomen's Association Inc. who saw my work in my Road to Victory exhibition,” he said.

"They liked what they saw and that's how the mural idea was created.

"The project was approved by Bundaberg Regional Council and now, it is hoped to be a permanent fixture in the region.”

Mr Driver said in the first stages of planning, the artwork was originally supposed to be painted directly on to the water tower cement face, but that came with its own problems.

"However, this was deemed as not the best option due to the rigid surface,” he said.

"Instead, I created the painting with water colours and then had the artwork photographed and an enlarged version transferred on to a vinyl skin to wrap around the water tank.

"This means that if the mural deteriorates over time it can be easily replaced.”

Divisional representative Cr Helen Blackburn said the mural was a welcome addition to the Bundaberg city area.

"The use of council infrastructure in this instance was able to provide a meaningful addition to the centenary of Armistice celebration,” Cr Blackburn said.

"This artwork has added life to what was once a barren environment and turned it into something that will span the years and remind people of the wonderful contribution of our nurses and their sacrifice.”

Bundaberg and District Ex Servicewomen's Association's Jenny Waldron said no sooner had the organisation finished major enhancements to War Nurses Memorial Park in 2014, conversation began about a mural.

"I received numerous comments from friends both local and interstate saying they would love to see a mural on the water tank showcasing our War Nurses,” Ms Waldron said.

The artwork took a total of two months for Mr Driver to complete and was something he said evoked many emotions within him.