Waternish mural a tribute to visionary founder

Waternish News
Waternish MD Simon White and artist Thomas Readett with mural of Waternish founder, Lynn Fuller. Image: Keryn Stevens.

Waternish-commissioned South Australian artist Thomas Readett has painted the first of a series of giant murals at the company’s Lonsdale headquarters.

Thomas has painted large-scale murals around Adelaide, including on Prospect Road, as part of Wonderwalls in Port Adelaide, for Tarnanthi, and for the Department for Planning, Transport and Infrastructure at the Seaford Railway Station.

The Waternish mural commemorates the company’s founder and Simon White’s late uncle, Lynn Fuller, and his legacy to this family-owned business, as well as pointing to the future direction under White’s leadership.

White is a keen patron of the arts and motivated to support visual and performing arts in Australia; Waternish is a sponsor of Adelaide Festival and State Theatre Company of South Australia.

“Waternish continually look at ways to deliver innovative solutions for its clients; the creation of a large mural wall is an extension of our desire to look at things differently, to find elegant solutions,” said White.

“We want to engage with the arts industry because while it is 180 degrees from what we do, we see the enormous benefits of the sector to the community, to wellbeing, and to relaxation and engagement – especially after a trying year for so many.”

White said: “It is important to us that we retain the culture of a ‘family business’ as we grow. This mural allows us to stay in touch with our roots, to identify where we came from.”

He looked to art adviser Jane Messenger, a former curator at the Art Gallery of SA, to curate the art project. The current mural is the first of six to adorn concrete walls at the Waternish site.

Said Messenger, Director Messenger Art Advisory:
“Simon’s commitment to a public art wall signifies the beginnings of a new era of philanthropy in Australia, where philanthropists and corporations champion the positive effects of arts and culture on contemporary Australian society through public commissions.

Messenger Art Advisory is committed to bringing clients and contemporary artists together, such as Waternish and Thomas Readett, to raise the profile of the visual arts within our communities and inspire the reimagining of possibility.”

Thomas Readett, who completed the painting in February 2021, said he was honoured to have been selected to portray and pay tribute to Lynn Fuller in this first Waternish mural.

“I hoped to capture the essence of a man with a vision but also the passion and dedication that drove that vision into reality and creation. I wanted to shed light on the company’s history and engineering whilst also incorporating its branding, I think both of these things speak to the 20-year legacy of the family business that is Waternish.”

About the artist:
Thomas Readett is an Adelaide-based artist focussing primarily on painting and large-scale murals. Thomas has exhibited solo shows Beneath the Skin, Dark Light and From Within with works developed through studio practice and artist residency programs, such as the SALA Country Health SA/University of South Australia Glenside Mental Health residency. Thomas also has assisted established Australian artist Ben Quilty with two major, large-scale interior aerosol murals in both the Art Gallery of South Australia and Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art. His practice has a strong figurative and anatomical focus and blends traditional tonal realism painting techniques with dynamic forms of abstraction.