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Back to News 14 December 2020

New Art Mural Transforms the Administration Building in Tonsley

New Art Mural Transforms the Administration Building in Tonsley

Renewal SA, with support from Arts South Australia’s Arts and Culture Grants Program, commissioned South Australian Artist Sam Songailo to create an art mural for the Administration Building at Tonsley Innovation District, bringing life and depth onto the façade of the 1960s building.

Renewal SA undertook a competitive process to commission a mural on the building’s eastern wall. The mural, which is prominently displayed to the thousands of motorists driving past Tonsley on South Road every day, was painted in September 2020, with the lighting component installed in November.

Aiming to enhance the public experience of contemporary art and encourage professional opportunities for artists, Arts South Australia’s Arts and Culture Grants Program promotes, facilitates and supports the commissioning of high-quality new works of art and design for public places by practising, professional South Australian artists.

South Australian painter and installation artist, Sam Songailo, was selected from an open call to create a large-scale mural with a bespoke lighting feature as the gateway artwork for Tonsley. Sam has designed a striking, contemporary entry piece for the site that is reflective of the ambition on which Tonsley Innovation District is being developed.

“I believe this project has realised a great outcome which is ambitious, innovative and reflective of the inherent nature of activities at the Tonsley site. I looked to signal these values through the creation of a dynamic, surprising and high-quality artwork. I wanted to create something that is a symbol but is also a place and entry statement, which envelops visitors in the mindset and vision of the District,” Songailo said.

Working in a range of media, including installation, sound and video, Sam’s work often employs the heavy use of pattern and colour. He studied Visual Communications majoring in Graphic Design at the University of South Australia and since making the transition to fine art back in 2007, he has received numerous grants and awards. Sam has exhibited at artist run and commercial galleries in Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne.

Arts South Australia supported Renewal SA in delivering this art piece with two grants from the Arts and Culture Grants Program with a total value of $27,000.

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