Iconic mural headed for heritage listing

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Inner West Council has voted unanimously to nominate for heritage listing the iconic and much-loved The Crescent mural in Annandale, eight years after the idea was first mooted.

The mural was created in 1980 by artist Rodney Monk. The sprawling mural at has been described as ‘the peoples mural’.

It was commissioned by the then-Leichhardt Council as an employment scheme for unemployed artists.

The mural was inspired by the community activism around key events such as opposition to the Vietnam War and the sacking of the Whitlam government, but also social movements such as personal liberation including sexuality, gender, racism and ethnicity, and the self-expression of alternative lifestyles and cultural activities.

Rodney Monk said the mural reflects the interests and concerns of the community in the late 1970s and early ‘80s.

“At that time the people were largely workers and the waterfront across to Glebe Point was factories,” he said.

“I remember environmentalists delight that a shark had taken a dog as it showed a return to a higher level of health for the harbour.

“Each image has a back story. To me the most significant are the lack of aboriginal content in the 1980 original, which was redressed in the 2005 repaint, and the images addressing pollution in the area – including water, air and noise pollution,” Mr Monk said.

In 2003, Leichhardt Council allocated $10,000 to refurbish the mural, which was in poor condition.

In 2005, the Council resolved to undertake a heritage assessment of the mural, which found that the mural should be recommended to the Office of Environment and Heritage for inclusion on the State Heritage Register.

In 2010, the mural was the subject of a Local History Project by Bruce Lay of Heritage Solution. The findings were presented to Annandale Precinct community meeting on 2 August 2010:

“The Mural reflects both local themes and broader societal change. Hence it has arguably both Local and State significance. It was a change point in the society and the City; there was massive de-industrialisation in the inner city, and the transformation of the waterfront. Blue collar employment was shrinking; the inner suburbs and Harbour edge were becoming attractive as a place to live close to the amenities and jobs in the City.

Looking back it was a brief moment for such a cultural explosion…”

For print quality images of the mural, or a copy of the 2010 Local History Project by Bruce Lay, contact the Communication team.

For more information: Elizabeth Heath | Media and Communications Coordinator Inner West Council P: +61 2 9392 5334 | E: elizabeth.heath@innerwest.nsw.gov.au

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Page last updated: 20 Nov 2018