I have a Dream ..... mural in Kings Street Newtown

Juilee  Pryor

Marrickville, Australia

Artist's Description

Behold, the dreamer cometh,
Come now thereforth
and let us slay him….
and we shall see
what will become
of his dreams…..

This is a picture taken in Newtown recently of a legendary mural that adorns the main throughfare, King street. Its a very old (painted in 1991) illegal bit of street art that has subsequently become an iconic part of the area. A very simple design. The face of Martin Luther King next to a large and now very faded reresentation of the world and under that are the first couple of words from a very famous speech given by Dr King. ’ I have a dream…."Underneath it is a representation of the Aboriginal flag. It was a wonderful speech and its a wonderful and enduring mural.

It was painted all that time ago by two people who were both very damaged and maybe even a bit mad at the time. He was on the run from the law for a terrible crime and she had just been abandoned by her husband, leaving her destitute with three tiny children and an imminant eviction. They were both artists and met one day when they were both painting something on the side of a building on the same street. In their mutally recognized despair and confusion they decided to reach inside to somewere really deep and give a gift of themselves to all around in order to stave off the darkness that otherwise would have engulfed them and tumbled them right down into the pits of hell. Not far from where they were was a blank three story wall on the side of building on the main street. Perfect.

So less than two weeks after they they had met they painted this great humanist message on the side of this building, knowing full well that they risked imprisonment for defacing the street with this simple but profound message of peace and love. And they poured it out over two days and two nights. Never even signed it but rather gave it as a gift to anyone who could see it for what it really meant. Then walked away in the silence of the night not really expecting much from it. But the people of Newtown took this gift in to their hearts and in the ensuing 18 years it has become one of the best loved and most iconic representations of this amazingly diverse and vibrant community. Almost a sacred symbol of Newtown really.

Funny story this one. The artists never made a penny out of it and are not even really know for their own work but sometimes just sometimes one of them reflects on the inanity and shallowness of the artworld and wonders why she bothers and then she remembers that sometimes just sometimes the gift of the spirit moves in her and no matter how hard it all is sometimes …. that it really is worthwhile to give of yourself. That it can make a difference to work from the heart. And that thought helps her get through the next bit of time.

Artwork Comments

  • Patricia L. Ballard
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  • Philip  Rogan
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