Silver Sands artist highlights the Old Mandurah Bridge in Falcon Library artwork

If you’ve visited the Falcon E-Library and Community Centre recently, you may have noticed a new addition highlighting Mandurah's iconic bridge. 

A three piece mural, donated by local artist Leslie Gray, has been hung across the back wall of communal space. 

The the 71-year-old created the massive artwork by taking 16 photographs of the Old Mandurah Bridge, editing, printing on canvas and propping them on a wooden frame. 

After a fair bit of planning and adjusting his camera Mr Gray was able to capture the shots and collate them into on long panoramic image.  

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The Silver Sands resident said often he had to manipulate the image as the joined photographs didn’t always line-up.

He also incorporated filters over his photographs to give them a blurred, artistic affect. 

Mr Gray said the filter just added another element to his pieces.

“I like donating this sort of art work. I just like doing it,” he said. 

“It’s multiple photos joined together, it’s all done on computer. 

“They call it paintings but it’s actually ink on canvas that has been printed out on a big machine. 

“I’ve got a big machine and it prints 24 inch canvas, up to 18 metres long. I make the frames myself, just out of pine.” 

Each canvas in the library extends three and a half metres. 

“Everyone thinks I’m a great artist but I’m just an… ex-draftsman who learn how to use a camera because I had to go and photograph jobs,” Mr Gray said. 

He said he picked the bridge as his subject because he made many fond memories near it.  

“Well I like the Old Mandurah Bridge we used to fish underneath when we were younger and catch crabs,” he said. 

He said it was encouraging to know that people would be able to filter around the library and take in his work for years to come. 

“That gives me pleasure. That’s the only reason I do it,” he said.

“I normally lay in bed and I think of something and then I do it. Whatever takes my fancy. When you’re retired you want something to do. 

“Sometimes i wake up at three o’clock in the morning and I just do it. Time means nothing to me.”

Mr Gray has donated work to hospitals, pubs, friends and family.  

Moving to Western Australia to play rugby league in 1973, Mr Gray stayed and has since worked all over the state before settling in Mandurah.