Honouring a Hunter television icon | PHOTOS Artist Daniel Joyce in front of the mural.
The mural on the side of Kurri Workers Club
Beat Hill filming Beating Around The Bush. Photo courtesy of Phil Lomas
Beat Hill and team filming Beating Around The Bush. Photo courtesy of Phil Lomas
Beat capturing a critter in close-up. Photo courtesy of Phil Lomas
Phil Lomas films Beat wrangling a snake. Photo courtesy of Phil Lomas
The Beating Around The Bush crew filming. Photo courtesy of Phil Lomas
Ian Hill in his element in the Watagans. Photo courtesy of Phil Lomas
The crew setting up for a shot in the scrub. Photo courtesy of Phil Lomas
Outstanding: Beat accepts the Logie award with Lomas, who cherishes their days filming the series in the Watagans. “Beat and I were in heaven,” he said.
Wrangling a reptile for the show. Photo courtesy of Phil Lomas
Self-taught herpetologist: Ian “Beat” Hill wrangles a snake for his wildlife documentary series Beating Around The Bush, which was shot in the Cessnock area and in the Watagan Mountains. Photo courtesy of Phil Lomas.
With Jake the cockatoo in the opening credits.
Rough-cut diamond: “Beat was Steve Irwin before Steve Irwin,” says Beating Around The Bush director Phil “Sandy” Lomas. Photos courtesy of Phil Lomas.
The Beating Around The Bush crew on location. Photo courtesy of Phil Lomas
TweetFacebookBeating Around The Bush lost his battle with cancer in September, aged 65.
Having grown up in the small Coalfields town, Hillwas well known around Kurri Kurri.
In a touching tribute to their late friend, a group of Hill’s mates approached Kurri Towns With Heart about coordinating a mural in his hometown.
Towns With Heartcommunity projects managerLesley Morris said the murals sprawled around the town recognised thehistory andpeople of Kurri Kurri.
So she said they thought it was a great addition to the program and a fantastic way to honour thewell-known man.
A crowd-funding page was set up to fund the initiative, and the response was immediate.
“It just went crazy,” Ms Morris said.
“Within two months enough funds were raised.”
Along with money, the crowd-funding also brought a lot of fond memoriesof Hill.
“He was so well-respected and well-loved in the wider Hunter that people wanted to see it happen,” she said.
“Everyone who donated money had a story.
“There was a lot of love that came out of that.”
Newcastle artist Daniel Joyce was called on to bring the idea to life, and Ms Morris said he went “way beyond the brief”.
Mr Joyce incorporated several iconic shots of Hill to create the final work.
He said he wanted to capture the former TV presenter’s passion and concern for animals and the environment.
And luckily the artist had a lot of material to work with between the countless videos andphotos of Hill over the years.
“He was a pretty photogenic bloke,” Mr Joyce said.
“And a lot of his photos just told the story.”
Mr Joyce had met Beat once 20 years ago, but said he really got to know him over the past few months.
“I had to become one with the fella there for a while,” he said.
“It was definitely an honour to paint his portrait.”
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