Artist: Tony Sowersby
Title: The Bald Archy Murals
Location: Installed along the pathway under the Wollundry Bridge
The Bald Archy Murals were a community arts project to develop up to eight life-sized Bald Archy inspired portraits of well-known Wagga identities. Artist Tony Sowersby worked with young artists to prepare sketches and complete the portraits.
- Mark Taylor & Michael Slater
From the Museum of the Riverina’s Sporting Hall of Fame. Former Australian Test Captain and test player, a winning opening batting team walking on to the pitch.
- Tichborne Claimant
Tom Castro, the Wagga butcher who claimed to be the long lost heir to the Tichborne Fortune. The Tichborne Trial is famous as being the longest running criminal trial in English history prior to 1996, capturing the imagination of people around the world. The Museum of the Riverina has a significant Tichborne collection. (link to webpage).
- Bill Kerr
Raised in Wagga Wagga, Bill Kerr was a child star who grew up performing locally before shooting to international fame, known by post-war British radio audiences as “The Boy from Wagga Wagga”. Upon returning to Australia in 1979, Kerr became a leading figure in Australian film, known for his performances in Gallipoli (1981) and the Year of Living Dangerously (1982).
- Dame Mary Gilmore
Dame Mary Gilmore is a renowned poet and author, moving with her family to the Wagga district in 1874. Dame Gilmore was a founding member of the Fellowship of Australian Writers and Sydney’s Lyceum Club and was active in organisations such as the New South Wales Journalists and the Aboriginal Australian Fellowship. Dame Gilmore is a celebrated public figure, known for her poetry, literature and journalism as well as a campaigner against injustice and deprivation. Dame Mary Gilmore’s image can be found on the Australian ten-dollar note.
- Paul Kelly
Paul Kelly is an inductee of the Sporting Hall of Fame, born in West Wylong and growing up in Wagga Wagga. Kelly was recruited from the Wagga Tigers to the Sydney Swans in 1990, rapidly developing into one of the club’s most important players. The game of Australian Rules gave Paul every accolade, except for a Premiership win. He came close in 1996 when he, and fellow Sporting Hall of Fame inductee Wayne Carey, faced off in that year's AFL Grand Final.
Paul played 234 games for the Swans between 1990 and 2002, and retired at the end of the 2002 season. His famous number 14 jersey was also retired (for five years).
- Towards Beijing
This mural depicts two Sporting Hall of Fame inductees aiming for gold at the Beijing Olympics. Brad Kahlefeldt, won the first ever triathlon commonwealth gold in Melbourne, 2006; and Melanie Twitt, a Hockeyroo with 203 international caps. Twitt made her first Australian hockey team in 1998, won gold with the Hockeyroos at the 2006 Commonwealth Games. Both grew up in Wagga Wagga.
- Dame Edna Everage
Dame Edna Everage - housewife superstar – was born in Wagga Wagga, before moving to Moonee Ponds as a child. Dame Edna is also the patron of the Bald Archys.
- Henry Baylis
Henry Baylis (1826 – 1905) was a prominent citizen of Wagga Wagga and Wagga’s first Police Magistrate. Baylis famously survived a shoot out with bushranger “Mad Dog” Morgan. The Museum of the Riverina holds the bullet, which he used to wear around his neck.
About Tony Sowersby
Sowersby is a former winner and a regular contributor to the Bald Archy Prize. He is a Victorian-based painter, cartoonist, muralist, portraitist and comic book author and illustrator. He has a special interest in working with young people and has been active in community arts since the early 1980s. Tony has painted and directed hundreds of murals especially on the Mornington Peninsula but also around the state and in Tasmania, NSW, S.A. and Papua New Guinea.