Cloak of Hope installed

Article image - Cloak of Hope installed Cloak of Hope by Kevina-Jo Smith. Photograph courtesy Maja Baska.

Blue Mountains City Council, New South Wales, has completed the upgrade of the Katoomba Civic Centre with a magnificent art installation by local artist Kevina-Jo Smith, titled Cloak of Hope, draped over the northern wall of the former Katoomba Library.

The artist said the artwork featured up-cycled mixed media and was a ‘protection symbol over our local World Heritage Listed landscape’.
“Cloak of Hope is an abstract topographical covering, constructed completely by hand. A mix of weaving, knitting and knotting over a seven month period, using only up-cycled materials,” Smith said.

The installation is the third and final artwork added to the Katoomba Civic Centre in the first stage of the centre’s planned revitalisation.

Mayor, Mark Greenhill, said, “This third artwork completes the first stage in our revitalisation of this town centre space. This is just the start of a process that will bring new life and vibrancy into this precinct.

“I’d like to thank the three local artists who have taken part in this project, with the three wonderful artworks. Each bring something different to the area, but are unified by theme of paying homage to the natural world.”

In August, Dharug woman and local artist Leanne Tobin installed the first artwork, entitled Yanema Waradah (Walk with Waratahs). It is an arresting array of art panels that relate to First Peoples creation and cultural stories.

Following this, Mandy Schoene-Salter painted a series of stunning murals over five columns on the lower level of the Civic Centre. The murals, entitled Luminous Presence, celebrate the abundance of Australian wildflowers.

The Katoomba Civic Centre upgrade also includes landscaping and greening, redressing of the red canopies, upgraded street furniture, and the establishment of a cowork space at the site of the old library.

It is being funded by a $750,000 grant through the Building Better Regions Fund. Council is matching this funding to a total of $1.5 million.