Council turns ashes into art

12th January 2021

Council turns ashes into art

Photo - Mayor Kay Rasheed pictured with Australian Country Music Singer Adam Brand.

Adam Brand and Kay Rasheed

Just twelve months since a devastating bushfire tore through the tight-knit community of Keilira, Counci has officially launched 'Wind Dance', the first augmented reality public mural in South Australia.

The project was made possible thanks to funding from the Regional Tourism Bushfire Recovery Program, an Australian Government bushfire recovery initiative.  ‘Wind Dance’ was commissioned by the Kingston District Council in the wake of the Keilira bushfire which was started by dry lightning in late December 2019.

The Regional Tourism Bushfire Recovery grants are part of the National Bushfire Recovery Fund and aim to provide support to boost tourism across bushfire-affected regions.

“We sought funding with the intent of stimulating our local economy through innovation and having a point of difference.  We wanted to create an experience that is unique to Kingston and provides a new tourism offering to draw people into our main street precinct” she said.

Mayor Kay Rasheed said, “Council was immediately drawn to the possibility of augmenting a public artwork because it hasn’t yet been done in South Australia.” “We first saw the augmented reality concept whilst developing our new Public Art Framework, and we were interested in pursuing the idea of having something in our town”.

“The project will capitalise on the growth of both art tourism and the world of augmented reality and we are excited to see this literally come to life”.

“The static mural is fantastic in itself, but this added dimension is immersive and quite spectacular” she said.

Visitors of all ages can download the free EyeJack app on their device to see the huge mural being brought to life, as a digital layer is projected on the real work, right in front of their eyes.

With tourism rapidly growing in regional SA, Council hopes digital experiences like ‘Wind Dance’ will bring more people to Kingston, in turn supporting local businesses, growing the economy and bringing small rural communities together.

Not only has augmented reality been incorporated in the public artwork, the experience is heightened by backing sound.

“The piece really comes to life in both sight and sound and is providing joy and surprise from both kids and adults as they give it a go”, Mayor Rasheed said.

“The mural has added a great vibrancy to the street and already we are seeing people downloading the app, pointing at the QR code and taking photos”.

“Council is committed to creating a thriving destination that encourages tourism and lifestyle living and this new tourist attraction is certainly a testament to that”.

Project Manager Maz McGann from Play Your Part said “I work with many regional communities across South Australia and beyond, and many of them have great ambition to develop cultural assets.  It is so wonderful to see a community the size of Kingston, punching above its weight and getting the job done.  The mural and the augmented reality component are a credit to the Council and the community”.

Council selected artist Sarah Boese to develop the artwork, which was done through direct engagement with the community and in-line with the Councils recently adopted Public Art Framework.  Ms Boese completed the work in December, and it was augmented through a partnership with Adelaide company JumpGateVR and EyeJack.

Ms Boese said “Wind Dance is designed to capture the personality of Kingston and features themes that acknowledge nature, Aboriginal culture and coastal lifestyle.  The heron, a spiritual totem that is important to the Meintangk people, is a symbol of determination, resilience and tranquillity. The circular patterns tie in with the local Aboriginal practice of weaving and pay respect to their deep connection with the land. Smoke drifts through the artwork reminding us of the devastating bushfire that occurred in the region in December 2019 and native spider orchids represent regrowth and healing.”

“The soaring fish reflect family activities and summers by the beach and were inspired by the popular kite festival that takes place in Kingston. Represented as kites, the fish attached to a string remind us that whilst we are connected to nature, we can’t always control it.  Instead, we can embrace and respect the delicate natural cycles of our environment.”

The mural was officially opened by Australian Country Music Singer Adam Brand and Mayor Kay Rasheed at a free community concert at the Crown Inn Hotel on Friday 8 January 2021.

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Nat Traeger
Phone: 08 8767 2033 | E:

Keilira Bushfire Fast Facts:

  • The largest bushfire in the South East since Ash Wednesday in 1983
  • 25,000Ha burnt
  • The fire impacted 22 properties and destroyed 3 homes with one being occupied and the other two being unused farmhouses.
  • Approximately 2,000+ bales of hay were lost as was hundreds of kilometres of fencing, over 40 pigs, up to 400 head of cattle and 3,000 sheep.

Project Details:

  • Artist, Sarah Boese 0434 824 700
  • Project Founder, Nat Traeger, Chief Executive Officer, 0408 809 712
  • Project Manager, Maz McGann, Play Your Part, 0438 807 973
  • Animator and sound designer, Helena Papageorgiou, EyeJack
  • Located on the wall of the Kingston Electrical & Renovator Centre, corner Agnes and Charles Streets, Kingston SE



Project Sponsors:

  • Kingston District Council
  • Australian Government
  • Crown Inn, Kingston
  • Kingston Electrical & Renovator Centre
  • Bawco Building