• Aretha Brown
    Aretha Brown

Converse Australia has collaborated with Gumbaynggirr artist and activist, Aretha Brown, to paint a mural in Collingwood using paint that helps to clean the air. 

The Melbourne (Naarm) mural is the second Converse City Forests mural in Australia, following the unveiling of Elliott Routledge's work in Sydney last year. 

Using a specialised paint, Brown's mural absorbs enough air pollutants to plant the equivalent of 128 trees in inner city Melbourne.

The Collingwood mural is intended to spark conversations around Indigenous urban identity and the importance of elders within the community. 

The design is a celebration of Aboriginal matriarchs and signifies the integral role of elders as a pillar for community, whilst
also acknowledging the role of young mob and how Indigenous culture exists within modern life.

As part of her creative process, Brown consulted with Aboriginal Elder and well-known actor, Uncle Jack Charles to learn more about the Indigenous history of the area where the mural is painted and sought support for the project from Annette Xiberras, Wurundjeri elder.

"The main objective of my art and my activism is to make sure that young Indigenous people have a voice," Brown said of her work.

For the project, Brown partnered with the National Indigenous Youth Education Coalition (NIYEC) and has designed a t-shirt to complement the mural. 

100% of proceeds from sales of the tee will be donated to NIYEC, whose work aims to mobilise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth to drive a new education system of their own design, and promote the message to ‘Teach Blak History’ in Australian schools.

"Through the vision of local creatives, we believe that self-expression and art have the power to reflect the current times, provoke dialogue, and build bridges between us," Converse said in a statement.

"The murals are a public call for progress in highly visible areas of each city and are bringing new meaning to public art to create a more sustainable and just future," the business said. 

The mural is located at the Converse Fitzroy store on the corner of Kerr and Smith Streets in Collingwood.  

The business is set to continue its local City Forest Mural program, with a third mural planned for Auckland later this year. 

Globally, Converse has unveiled sustainable murals from Singapore to Sao Paolo and has planted the equivalent of 7121 trees.

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