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In 2022, a vibrant artwork was installed on the Canterbury Road underpass near 202 Canterbury Road, in Canterbury.

The mural Hope is not cancelled, was designed by artist Nicole van Dijk and students from Strathcona Girls Grammar, was installed on the southern wall of the rail underpass, with support from Council.

The mural depicts the students’ feelings of hope during the COVID-19 pandemic. The school engaged Nicole through its artist-in-residence program, and she worked directly with year 7 students to design the mural, which was installed in May.

The large flowing design and bold colours sweep across the wall and, if you look closely, you will see it incorporates the intricate symbols of hope that students said helped them through the lockdowns.

'Many things were cancelled because of the global pandemic. However, there were many things that couldn’t be cancelled,' says artist Nicole.

'Using illustration, collage and cut-outs, students created black-and-white symbols reflecting on themes of sunshine, spring, love, relationships, reading, naps, devotion, music, dancing, imagination, kindness, conversations and hope. The result is a collaborative artwork that represents hope and emerging from a difficult time.'

The long flowing motif of a river that you see in the mural symbolises Nicole’s daily walks along the Yarra River, and the flowing white tendrils represent the “sacred bushland” of inner suburbia.

Council will continue to support community efforts to enhance the Maling Road precinct with placemaking initiatives and with murals, adding colour and a local touch over the years.

Hope is not cancelled tells an important story of our communities’ experiences during the pandemic and contributes to the broader story of Maling Road, just as the new 80 Maling Road laneway mural celebrates our community, visitors and spaces.

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