Barwon Water and genU partnership leads to local art purchase

Barwon Water has purchased an artwork of the Black Rock Water Reclamation Plant by local artist Aaron Deans.

Barwon Water has purchased an artwork of the Black Rock Water Reclamation Plant by local artist Aaron Deans.

The Black Rock site is where Barwon Water transforms the region’s sewage into recycled water and biosolids. The site proved to be an inspiring subject matter for Deans.

The detailed, free-hand work in pencil and fine liner reflects his interest in architecture, processes, engines, and pipes. The result is a striking interpretation of the complex processes at the site.

Deans’s creative talents have been nurtured through his studies at genU, a disability services provider that, among many other services, supports artists with disability, promotes their works and advocates for their inclusion in contemporary art practice.

Deans’s art teacher, Gosia Reflinski, was very impressed with the work’s composition and level of detail.

“This is the first time Aaron has tackled the complex issue of perspective in his art (three-dimensional representation of objects or spaces in a two-dimensional artwork). He successfully executed this concept in this work,” Ms Reflinski said.

genU’s chief executive officer Clare Amies said she was pleased to see Deans going places with his art.

“At genU, our mission is to empower people to live their best possible lives and reach their full potential. As part of the many disability support services we offer, a wide range of art programs are designed to help artists embrace their creativity and express themselves in an inclusive environment.

“It’s fantastic to see our art program having a positive impact like this for Aaron,” said Ms Amies.

Supporting diversity communities through local art

Barwon Water General Manager of Customers, Community and Strategy Laura Kendall was thrilled to receive the painting in person.

“We’re taken by Aaron’s creative interpretation of our Black Rock site. We feel a new inspiration for our work when we see his artwork on display at our Ryrie Street head office.

“Aaron’s work not only resonates with those familiar with the Black Rock site, it also generates new reflections on our relationship to the site and its role in the region’s circular economy.”

Kendall said Barwon Water was pleased that its ongoing partnership with genU, which creates employment opportunities for people with disabilities, had been able to add art to the list of collaborations.

“Together, we’ve provided important opportunities and outcomes through our plant nursery, Ryrie HQ and garden programs. Now we can add art to the list thanks to Aaron’s work.”

Deans thanked the staff member who had shown him around the Black Rock Water Reclamation Plant via a handmade card.

“Thank you for allowing me to see your facility, for your time and professional kindness,” he said.

Free guided tours are available for not-for-profit community groups at the Black Water Rock Reclamation Plant and other locations. Barwon Water has guest speakers about the challenges and opportunities of delivering a safe, secure and sustainable water future.

Both tours and presentations can be tailored to meet the interests of different groups.

Bookings for Barwon Water’s community and schools’ education programs are essential. For bookings and more information, please get in touch with Emma Homes, Community Education Officer, on 1300 656 007 or email

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