Mid West WA wildflower season seeds art in Helen Ansell’s Mullewa gallery

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Lisa FavazzoMidwest Times
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Mullewa artist Helen Ansell.
Camera IconMullewa artist Helen Ansell. Credit: Lisa Favazzo/The Geraldton Guardian

Inside a 100-year-old building painted with bright-colour blocked shapes, a Mid West artist is preparing to welcome a deluge of tourists to her usually sleepy town.

In the coming weeks Helen Ansell will start the wildflower season in style, unveiling two murals and opening the doors of her new gallery space.

“The season is going to be amazing. (Mullewa) is such a unique place to come and see flowers growing,” she said.

Ansell, her husband and three young children moved to Mullewa four years ago. Every year during the wildflower season, she has run pop-up galleries that attract hundreds of visitors a day.

Early this year, the town’s pharmacy closed, leaving the space likely to become another boarded-up storefront.

Instead, Ansell put her hand up to take over the lease.

Working with kids from Mullewa District High School and Our Lady of Mt Carmel, she painted a mural on the side of the building and another on the side of St Andrew’s Anglican Church, where her dad is a minister. She will unveil both this afternoon.

The season is going to be amazing. Mullewa is such a unique place to come and see flowers growing,

- Helen Ansell.

On August 1, her gallery will open for the season. She plans to open it seven days a week and spend six days a week making coffees, serving muffins and talking about her work. She expects this year to be her biggest yet.

“Mullewa caravan park is full, we are going to have an amazing wildflower season and the grey nomads back,” she said.

Ansell has already started dreaming up ways to push her enterprise to the next level.

“I have asked the landlord if I can be first in line for the building next door, which has a courtyard out the back,” she said.

“And, my husband (Kim Ansell) is a pianist so we have bought a ... grand piano to put in our gallery for wine soiree nights.”

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