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A faded pump station in Western Australia’s north-east is the latest water asset to be brought back to life as part of Water Corporation’s ‘Splash of Colour’ program.

Instead of the drab green façade, artwork featuring larger-than-life water birds can be seen near a popular Bayswater coffee spot in Wymond Park.

The artwork is the creation of artist Graeme Miles Richards, who blurs the lines between the Water Corporation pump station and its surroundings.

The artist, who is known for creating giant optical illusions, worked with year five students from Hillcrest Primary School to create drawings of local birds and animals to inspire the final design. Mr Richards was also introduced to the school’s resident southern boobook owl.

Three sides of the pump station feature a local waterbird species, and the boobook owl sits on the wall facing the school to point students in the right direction.

Since its inception in 2017, Water Corporation’s ‘Splash of Colour’ program has placed art in public areas on 74 water and wastewater assets across Western Australia in an effort to strengthen communities’ connections to local water stories and the environment.

Across the river in the City of Belmont, Aboriginal artist Kayley Emery has given three more Water Corporation assets a vibrant makeover.

Taking inspiration from a workshop with year two students at Belmay Primary School, Ms Emery’s designs capture local water-based animals, including a black swan, dolphin, turtle and squid. Kayley has included the Aboriginal symbols for the families of some of the students, so they are celebrated in the artworks.

Western Australian Water Minister, Simone McGurk, said, “It’s fantastic to see Bayswater’s nondescript pump station transformed to a stunning piece of art that everyone in the community can enjoy – and better still, for it to be created by a local artist and students.

Ms McGurk said that it’s particularly fitting that Hillcrest Primary’s boobook owl has a special place in this artwork, to guide the students – who helped inspire it – to school.

“Since 2017, 74 outstanding artworks have been created through Water Corporation’s Splash of Colour program, reminding us that water plays an important role in our lives every day, and we all need to be waterwise.”

Maylands MLA, Lisa Baker, said the incredible artwork is a beautiful reminder of the importance of the river and local bird life.

“It’s particularly good to see local students from Hillcrest Primary School get involved and strengthen their connections to water and the environment.

“Bayswater is a growing hub for artists, and I thank Water Corporation and the City of Bayswater for taking art that reflects local life to the community.”

Belmont MLA, Cassie Rowe, said, “It’s fantastic that local Aboriginal artist Kayley Emery’s work is being displayed on Water Corporation assets in Belmont.

“I would also like to thank the year two students at Belmay Primary School for attending the workshops that provided the inspiration for these murals.”

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