Renowned artist John Murray calls Lightning Ridge home and you can’t escape his impact on the town. Depending on which way you approach the ridge you might be greeted by a giant emu, Stanley made from old girders, Volkswagens and satellite dishes, or on Morilla St an old combi given wings and a propeller, flown by an emu with the logo: “emus on the plane”, both are John Murray creations. Murray murals are to be found on a variety of locations around town, as are other murals by local artists. Lightning Ridge is a town with a creative soul. An irreverent, whimsical soul at that. The John Murray gallery is a must visit location and his work captures the stark beauty of this part of outback Australia. The gallery is free but you might find it hard to leave without purchasing a print or postcard of some Murray’s beautiful and whimsical art, we did.
Stark beauty and whimsy sum up Murrays work. It is hard not to smile at his version of budgie smugglers, or the many gorgeous paintings featuring outback wildlife, especially emus. The emu really should be the town emblem.
There was also some lovely reflective photography work by Vicki Murray on display at the gallery as well.
The influence of art in Lightning Ridge is evident everywhere as many of the locals have displayed their own talent on their properties.