Sheffield – Town of Murals

Sheffield – Town of Murals

More from our Tasmanian tour…

We passed through this little town on our way from Cradle Mountain National Park to Launceston. It was well worth stopping off to spend some time strolling around. The artwork is everywhere. Mural after mural. I am sure we never saw them all. And I am certainly not going to try to get all of those I managed to photograph on this post. But here is a fairly good sample…

Dani almost looks part of this life-like mural

A Bit About The Town…

Sheffield is a town 23 kilometres inland from the north-west coast of Tasmania and sits in the shadow of Mount Roland. The Sheffield area is well known for dairy farming, lamb and beef production. It has a population of around 1,600.

The town was named by Edward Curr (who was appointed manager of the Van Diemen’s Land Company in 1824) after his home town in South Yorkshire, England. I worked there a long time ago – it’s a great city. But this much smaller place of the same name is very different.

Mount Roland overlooks the town and dominates the local scenery.

As usual with rural towns in Australia, the architecture is also interesting.

The town thrived during the 1960s due to the construction of seven dams and seven power stations nearby. But things started to decline after the completion of the power scheme in 1973 and the population began to decline.

Becoming the Town of Murals

Sheffield’s revival as the Town of Murals began as a bid by a small group of residents determined to save their town. The Kentish Association for Tourism (KAT) had a vision to combine art and tourism to revive their town’s fortunes, which was apparently inspired by the story of Chemainus, British Columbia. That small Canadian town did a similar thing using artwork and murals to revitalise itself.

Personally, this place reminds me very much of the NSW town of Eugowra, which is like a walk-around art gallery. You can read more about that place by following this link: The Village of Eugowra – A Living Art Gallery.

The first mural was painted in December 1986 and it grew form there. Sheffield has now become a major tourist attraction promoting itself as a “Town of Murals”. The murals attract an estimated 200,000 people to the town each year.

More Murals…

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