Public art campaign in Melbourne is a “celebration of Aboriginal matriarchs”

Titled “City Forest Mural,” the artwork was created by artist Aretha Brown, who is from the Gumbaynggirr community.

The sneaker brand Converse has commissioned an indigenous artist in Australia to create a gigantic mural with a surprising twist.

The Melbourne mural plays homage to indigenous urban identity and was painted with a special type of pollution-absorbing paint that “cleans the air,” according to the agency behind the project, Amplify.

The artwork, titled “City Forest Mural,” was created by artist and activist Aretha Brown, who is from the Australian aboriginal group Gumbaynggirr. The goal was to spark conversations around indigenous urban identity and raise awareness of the importance of elders in the community.


Brown, who is a former prime minister of the National Indigenous Youth Parliament, consulted prominent Australian actor and Aboriginal elder Uncle Jack Charles as part of her creative process to learn about the indigenous history of the area where the mural is painted.

The design, in the Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy, celebrates Aboriginal matriarchs, showcases indigenous elders and explores how indigenous culture coexists with modern life, Amplify said in a statement.

Art activism

The mural has an educational element, and was designed with a scannable QR code that redirects viewers to a profile of the indigenous artist and to the National Indigenous Youth Education Coalition (NIYEC) website.

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