Bianca Monaghan puts the final touches to the mural inside Toast Espresso, Grafton.
Bianca Monaghan puts the final touches to the mural inside Toast Espresso, Grafton.

‘It’s beautiful, but the statement it makes is much bigger’

WHAT used to be a bare patch of wall has now become a symbol of unity for the Clarence Valley community.

On Sunday, Toast Espresso customers were delighted to learn that the cafe’s recent renovations also included a large indigenous mural.

Kamilaroi woman Maddy Richey and Bundjalung woman Bianca Monaghan spent three days creating the mural.

“It tells the story of how our three nations are connected by this river and how Toast is one of the meeting places where all three nations can feel comfortable,” muralist Bianca Monaghan said.

“To me, that’s the thing with this painting; it’s beautiful but the statement it makes is much bigger.”

Revealing a beautiful, very special part of our renovations... Maddy Richey & Bianca Monaghan have painted a great...

Posted by Toast Espresso on Saturday, 5 September 2020

Toast Espresso owner Mark Hackett said the creative process was just as valuable as the finished product.

“Maddy and Bianca were up and down that ladder for three days while (my wife) Judy and I were nearby working on other renovations and it became this organic situation where we were chatting with them, learning about the stories behind the images; it was just amazing,” he said.

Mr Hackett said the idea first started when an employee showed him a painting of the cafe.

“Tanisha Martin made this beautiful image that represented Toast as a meeting place which branched out to different social and cultural communities, to show that it’s a place where everyone is welcome,” he said.

For Ms Monaghan, this welcome feeling has been present in the cafe for years.

“When I get my coffee, they always put something on the cup, like the Aboriginal flag, or a little note that says ‘have a deadly day’,” she said.

“It’s those little things that make you feel loved, that make you want to go back, and that’s what you want from a local business.”