In August 2010 The Inner West Courier featured a story dedicated to Rodney Monk’s much loved and well known Mural at The Crescent. Never has a man received as much attention from truck drivers as when Rodney Monk posed in front of the 30 yr old mural he painted in 1980. The sprawling mural at The crescent has been described as “the peoples mural.”
It has provided a colourful backdrop for Annandale residents and commuters passing the crescent daily for the last 30 years. The work was commissioned in 1980 and is packed with political messages and acts as a snapshot of the era. Bruce Lay explores the mural which was evidentally in poor condition so so in 2003 Leichhardt Council allocated $10,000 and it was re-painted in 2003/2004 with Rodney Monk invited to tender to consider the involvement of other artist.
Many of the symbols and consensual expression of the concerns and issues that were originally represented in the mural are concerns and values that remain strongly held today, in light of which it has been well respected and cared for over the years with minimal tagging and alteration.
Leichhardt Council has deemed the work so socially significant it has supported a study into it’s history which has been completed by Bruce Lay of Heritage Solutions. Bruce Lay explores the social and political history of murals and Public art in the Whitlam era with a acute focus on the Annandale Mural.
“‘The Mural in The Crescent was the community activism spurred by key events such as opposition to the Vietnam War and the sacking of the Whitlam government, but also social movements around personal liberation including sexuality, gender, racism and ethnicity, and the self- expression of alternative lifestyles and cultural activities.” (Lay 2010) Please find the full study in the link below.