"I'm not a signwriter, I'm an Illustrator," David Bromley told WFOL. Nevertheless, his murals on historical buildings at Urunga, near Coffs Harbour NSW, are surely a sign that beautiful art can blend into any outdoor awareness project. The results speak for themselves, they lift the spirits and serve as a visual tonic in these otherwise challenging times.
|Artist at work - David Bromley working on one of his amazing murals at Urunga, NSW|
Bromley was commissioned by Bellingen Shire Council, via a grant from the NSW Dept of Trade & Industry, to transform the street-facing walls of century-old buildings in the picturesque mid-NSW coastal township. He is no stranger to big projects such as these - the Sydney Morning Herald's 1988 front cover image of the first fleet arriving at Sydney Cove was illustrated by him. He also worked for many years in London, with the Financial Times, The Observer, Daily Telegraph and others, cartooning and illustrating stories and people who were making the news. He also illustrated the cover for the Walkley magazine.
|The real 'Herbie' with his alter-ego in the mural|
His Urunga project often includes real local people and indiginous elders and their families from the tradional Bellinger Valley custodians, the Gumbaynggirr people. One local identity, 'Herbie' was seen in both real life and in Bromley's mural (see pic, courtesy Bellingen Courier.)
Interestingly, Bromley also has a passion for print and owns a Harrild & Sons lever-action letterpress on which he reproduces prints from his hand-engraved woodblocks. The press dates from the 1800s and Harrild was operational in the UK from 1801 until its closure in 1949. It is a close relative of the Albion and Columbian presses, which were also sold by Harrild & Sons.
As part of his road-trip visiting sign shops up and down the NSW coast, publisher of wideformatonline, Andy McCourt, says: "Gobsmacked would be an understatement when I saw what David Bromley is doing with brush and paint on the walls of Urunga. It serves as a reminder that, above all, we are a creative industry, even if we use digital methods for reproduction. We should always keep that creative spark alive and continue to encourage edgy, innovative signs, displays, wall art and imagery. Not everyone can be a David Bromley with the brush and pallete but we can aspire to his high creative standards."
Anyone interested in contacting David can do so on E: firstname.lastname@example.org
|Bromley in his Urunga studio with the Harrild lever letterpress for his woodcuts|
Acknowledgement and thanks to the Bellingen Courier for the studio photo