FROM SANDRA DAVIS, FOR REDLAND MUSEUM
Talented young Quandamooka artist Joshua Gross, who hails from Minjerribah, has made a very attractive and significant contribution to the Redlands landscape by transforming the Bloomfield Street underpass in Cleveland. This underpass, at the eastern end of Russell Street, was completed in 1989 to enable pedestrians to cross under the always-busy Bloomfield Street rather than walk over it. As a result, it has proven very popular with many pedestrians.
However, over the past 33 years, the original murals on the underpass had deteriorated due to the inevitable ravages of time and weather. Joshua has revitalised the underpass by painting a vibrant series of indigenous images that reflect his Quandamooka heritage in a wonderful way. He says that the Quandamooka culture, which is a big part of his life, inspired him to paint the murals. These colourful images reflect this culture, and they were created in his mind, not inspired by pictures or photos but by his local landscape on Minjerribah. They include bushes, hands, serpents, trees, and words, worked in shades of scarlet, gold and black, reflecting his Quandamooka heritage to great effect.
Joshua tells us that the creation of the murals took 24 hours. At times the work was interrupted and delayed by wet weather. He worked alone but was at times accompanied by his brother, Shane, who did not participate in the actual painting but offered moral support as he watched the work in progress. This support has obviously been successful, as the artwork is not only an intricate reflection of Quandamooka culture but also meticulously executed and eye-catching, a true credit to this aspiring young artist. It has certainly brightened the interior walls and the entrances of the underpass.
For Joshua, the reason he wanted to create this artwork is simple: he wished to give back to the community. In this, he has been extremely successful; his work is a welcome addition to the Cleveland landscape. Joshua has further projects in view: the toilet block at Oyster Point Park and the Main Road underpass near the Wellington Point railway station. We look forward to seeing these in due course.