A Newcastle-based artist has put a welcoming touch to Redhead Beach thanks to a trio of striking murals.
The artworks, by Daniel Joyce, depict the iconic stretch of coastline in all its glory and are part of the Smart Beaches campaign – an initiative spearheaded by Lake Macquarie Council in partnership with Northern Beaches Council and the University of Technology Sydney.
The campaign aims to improve amenity and beach safety via real-time updates on conditions for lifeguards and beachgoers and one of the murals will have a digital display installed to show live beach info.
The works are being installed this week, with the largest 8.5m x 2.5m mural featuring on the side of the Redhead Beach Surf Lifesaving Club storage shed, facing the main beach car park.
It depicts Redhead’s iconic shark tower and cliffs, and Lake Macquarie City Council lifeguards who patrol the coastal stretch during the beach season.
“Daniel’s art provides a really striking depiction of the beach, and the integration of a digital screen is a nod to the technology integral to the Smart Beaches project,” Smart Beaches Project Manager Tony Blunden said.
Council has spent the past 12 months trialling technology at Redhead Beach and Blacksmiths Beach to help improve public safety, user amenity and assist professional lifeguards.
Tony said the trial had been highly successful, helping the project group determine the best technology to deploy and how to collate the data it produced to best serve beach users.
“We’re now in the process of reporting back on the trial, and assessing the viability of scaling it up to roll out this kind of technology at other beaches along Australia’s coast,” he said.
Daniel, who has been painting murals for more than 20 years, added that he had spent over 160 hours creating the artworks.
“Local knowledge of the beach, and all its beauty and danger, together with regular on-site meetings with lifeguards and Council to fine-tune details of the project, has really helped,” he said.
“If any part of this artwork piques the attention of a member of the community and assists in possibly saving someone’s life or preventing an incident, then this project has been a success.”
Installation of the three murals is expected to be complete by the end of the week. The digital monitor is on track for installation in August, prior to the 2020-21 beach season.
Head here for more info on the Smart Beaches project