We’ve had one eye on the hills behind Byron Bay for some time now, as for the past three years Hollywood power couple Chris Hemsworth and Elsa Pataky have been building their dream home. This week we finally got a first glimpse inside the mammoth compound nearing completion for them and their three children.
Revealing a breathtaking mural inside called ‘Darrundang Gaagal (Thanking The Ocean)’ on his Instagram feed, Hemsworth thanked friend and Indigenous artist Otis Hope Carey for its creation, which he says, “Focuses on representational imagery of the ceremonial dancing of the Gumbaynggirr people, weaved together with traditional forms in thanks to their totemic spiritual emblem ‘GAAGAL’ (Ocean).”
The artwork seems in keeping with the over-sized scale of the build and offers a sneak peek at the vast internal architecture of the spaces – large expanses of concrete flooring and soaring ceilings with heights appearing to stretch up to as much as five metres. The mural brings colour and warmth to the space, described by Hemsworth as “…a big empty wall that needed some love…”
Hemsworth goes on to describe the artwork; “Long shifting black lines ripple across the wall demonstrating the power and energy emanating from dancing feet stomping into the ground. Blue circular line work is painted over the top throughout the composition in reference to the Ocean in an act of thanks for its healing powers and all that is received from it.”
The architecture-designed estate replaces an eight-bedroom Balinese-style resort home and its massive footprint has been dubbed a “mega-mansion” on the 4.2hectare property, originally bought by the couple for $7million in 2014. Australia’s biggest blockbuster film star has been at the centre of some misgivings during its construction, with locals questioning its size and scale in relation to surrounding properties and the Byron hinterland.
“In this piece, Otis utilises traditional symbols and imagery in grandiose scale in a display of contemporary practice and thought.”Chris Hemsworth
On his own Instagram feed Carey - a Byron Bay local whose art has appeared in galleries and public spaces all over Australia - shared more images of the process behind the incredible work saying, “It was such a pleasure to paint and share a part of my culture for @chrishemsworth & @elsapatakyconfidential. For years I’ve been wanting to create a piece of this scale and to be able to do this for such an incredibly talented family I feel so honoured and grateful.”
Watch this space.
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