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Thursday, May 16, 2024

Massive mural catches the eye

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MIKA’S Restaurant, Airlie Beach, has now reopened in its new location.

Local mural painter Martin Jegou, from Gwada Murals, has designed and painted an incredible Mexican inspired backdrop for diners to enjoy (pictured).

Mr Jegou has been a graphic designer for 15 years and has painted various murals across the Whitsunday region, including the well-known humpback whale and calf at the roundabout on Waterson Way, Airlie Beach, and the large flora and fauna mural, at the Bowen Showgrounds.

Mr Jegou has lived in Airlie Beach for nine years and has run Gwada Murals for five years.

He painted two large murals in the new Mika Restaurant, inspired by the Mexican holiday, Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, where Mexican families reunite with deceased loved ones in a festive celebration, featuring fun makeup and costumes, parades and parties, singing and dancing, and offerings to lost loved ones.

Mr Jegou said Mika’s owner Ivan Cortes explained the theme behind the day to him, and how he wanted it to be incorporated.

“Basically, they gave me a rough idea of what they wanted, like they really wanted it to represent a Mexican woman from the Day of The Dead festival, and people, especially women, wear make-up on their face like a skull and lots of flowers and costumes,” Mr Jegou said, adding it took four weeks.

“Mexican culture is a very rich culture, so there’s many things to be inspired by.”

Mr Jegou said, while the mural was different to what he usually paints, he was able to make it his own.

“The portrait of the woman was inspired by photographs that I found on websites, but I did try to incorporate my touch, and all my abstracts in the background,” he said.

“They really wanted it to be bright and colourful and obviously things that would remind people of Mexican culture.

“They really wanted something that would catch people’s eye.”

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