Grand Central commissioned local artist Jonathan (Jon) Vargas to paint a large-scale mural in Duggan Lane inspired by Toowoomba, it’s surroundings, it’s people and it’s future.
Jon Vargas is a Chilean artist who has a made himself well known in the Toowoomba art scene over the last few years since settling here with his family. He has been previously commissioned to paint many well-known murals throughout Toowoomba and is also known for his screen-printing abilities and other artistic talents. His unique style incorporates the use of vivid colours and strong architectural lines, often using recognisable local architecture. Jon has also recently revamped one of Grand Central’s children’s caravans transforming it into a vivid floral design which can be found in centre for all to admire.
We invite you to take a walking tour of Jon’s Duggan Lane mural at your own pace and enjoy his amazing work of art and his interpretation of Toowoomba. Jon has incorporated local elements of Toowoomba into his art style to create an interesting and thought-provoking mural.
Take the tour
As you walk from the top of the lane, near Piccolo Papa, towards Duggan Street you will discover many striking elements which represent our great city and region.
At the beginning of the mural is the Toowoomba violet. A remarkable purple flower well known in the community, which was declared Toowoomba’s floral emblem in 1932. It is also featured in the Toowoomba Coat of Arms alongside the local yellow wattle.
A set of colourful butterflies can be found along the next section of the mural, representing the friendliness and ongoing transformation of the town and its people. Tip: these make for a great selfie opp!
Between the butterflies are three large eyes, each in a different colour to express the multiculturally diverse city we live in. Surrounding the eyes is a night sky filled with stars which can be seen regularly in the region on a clear night.
Moving further down the mural you will see a large red geometric symbol which represents eternity. Jon’s use of colour around this symbol includes sky blue and jet black to symbolise day and night and the everyday evolution of the city the locals love.
Continuing down the laneway you will come across a large squiggle (that’s a technical term!) of rich orange that depicts the fluidity of our community and the connection with each other. As you continue to walk along the mural you will find other striking colours and icons from the Toowoomba City region that you might recognise and relate to.
As you hit the middle of the mural, Jon has painted large bright steps and an architectural pillar that represent Toowoomba’s ambition. Toowoomba is known as a city rich with history with many aspirations for the future.
A notable landmark, Table Top Mountain, which can be seen from multiple vantage points in Toowoomba can be found in the next section. Recognising how much locals love to climb the mountain (visitor hint: it’s the best spot to get amazing 360degree views of the Lockyer Valley) Jon has used a variety of purples and peaches in this section to depict the amazing sunsets you can see across the Toowoomba region.
Close to Duggan Street hosts the final piece of the mural. Toowoomba is well known for its gardens especially in September when we celebrate all things flowers, food, wine and culture of the Toowoomba region with the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers. The addition of the sun and plants painted here are Jon’s nod to the spectacular gardens on show every day.
For more of Jon’s work visit @jon_vargas_art
Enjoy all the Public Art at Grand Central (and there is some amazing pieces) by taking a walking tour around the streets of the Centre.