The Markets West End, recently rebranded as Soda Factory, has unveiled a stunning mural that highlights suburb’s connection with its Aboriginal heritage.
The mural is Soda Factory’s collaboration with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island artists, Tori-Jay Mordey and Warraba Weatherall, which draws inspiration from the native flora traditionally grown in the West End area.
Weatherall, an installation and street artist from the Kamilaroi Nation of South-West Queensland said that they looked at the historical and environmental aspects of the site in an artistic way, making sure that there’s still an acknowledgement of place even though there is a building there now.
“In coming up with the concept for the mural we focused on looking at what was here before there was a building, especially the native plants that would have grown. The painting itself takes a lot of time – around a week in addition to the concept design. Getting the colours right was very important. Anything with colour that pops was key and lightens up the space and stands out,” said Mordey, an established Torres Strait Islander illustrator.
Soda Factory’s Refurbishment
The rebranded retail precinct pays homage to the building’s original use as a soda making facility. The Spanish Mission styled factory building remained in use by Tristrams until 1979 and has since been converted into a market.
Soda Factory’s multi-million-dollar refurbishment, which commenced January 2021 is nearing completion. The redevelopment will see the site elevated into a new-look, convenience-based centre anchored by a newly redeveloped full-line Coles Supermarket and an additional 22 specialty stores.
In addition to the internal mall area’s renovations, other improvements will include new travellators and lift, upgraded amenities, activated street frontage, and redeveloped car park.