As you drive into many South West country towns, with the music blaring and your hair down, you are likely to be welcomed by a bright and colourful entry statement made by a talented Harvey artist. Anthea Ward (Bach) has designed stunning pieces which sit proudly in Harvey, Cookernup, Myalup, Clifton Park, Binningup, Bunbury, Australind, Boyanup and Brunswick. Her latest work of art is the Brunswick entry statement that sits on the outskirts of town. Intricate colour is woven through the backdrop — a symbol of Brunswick’s lively nature and high-spirited community. She got her inspiration from chatting to children at St Michael’s Primary School and Brunswick Junction Primary School. “Fun is what kids bring to just about anything, so it was great to see the town through their eyes,” Anthea said. Anthea asked the students what they loved about their town and the children replied “the Brunswick Show and our black and white milking cows”. So she incorporated the fireworks from the iconic show, paired with local dairy farmer Lachlan Fry’s cow, to create a symbol of Brunswick. The piece, which was commissioned by the Harvey Shire Council, also included hand prints of all the children from the two schools. Each tile was hand rolled, dried, reshaped and carefully glazed. “The piece really embodies freshness, abundance and fun,” she said. Anthea grew up on a dairy farm in Benger, so her art reflects her childhood. A country girl at heart, she finds inspiration in nature. “I often jump on a horseback and just go out into the bush.” Anthea said she struggled at school and art was the only subject she felt a passion for. So when it came time to graduate, she told herself she just had to get 50 per cent to be accepted into her art course at university. She got 52. “I initially wanted to study therapy, but I didn’t have the grades. “I was delighted with a pass because it meant I could still study art.” Upon graduation she decided to do an extra year and become an art teacher, accepting a position at Australind Senior High School. However, her classes were not ordinary classes, she often held her art lessons outside of the classroom and among nature. “I think I gave my students all As, I remember feeling uncomfortable judging art for grading. “I just think that art heals your soul and is a way of expressing yourself, so for me to put a grading on that felt wrong.” Anthea got enough commissioned work to become a full-time artist. “I was not sure if I could make a living off art, but it is my passion and I enjoy doing art for communities. “It celebrates the town and the people within it.” Her first big mural was the classic farm collage in the heart of Harvey on the Supa IGA wall. It was commissioned by Main Street and captures the agricultural essence and history of the town. She has since made pieces for towns, schools and communities all over the State. Anthea hopes to one day incorporate her love of art, therapy and horses.