Images of Naarm

Peek Whurrong artist Bayley Mifsud captures the spirit of Melbourne in her colourfully eye-catching artworks.

It wasn’t until the beginning of lockdowns in 2020 that Bayley Mifsud found herself with enough time on her hands to explore the artistic practices she’d begun during her school years.

In the four years since, her business called Merindah-Gunya – it means ‘beautiful spirit’ in the Peek Whurrong language and is also the Aboriginal name given to Bayley by her parents and Elders – has grown rapidly.


From Little Things

Bayley was born in Warrnambool but has spent most of her life in Melbourne, with various members of the family contributing to her knowledge about art and storytelling. She drew on that during the pandemic.

“I had a space above my bed, so I painted three pieces that told the story of my family,” she says.

After she posted an image on Facebook, friends and family sent words of encouragement and a couple of people asked if she’d create artwork for their homes. Now, you can see her pieces in schools, sporting clubs and businesses.

Peek Whurrong artist Bayley Mifsud at work.

Merindah-Gunya’s Melbourne

For the cover of Melbourne's Autumn 2024 Official Visitor Guide, Bayley has created a representation of Melbourne in autumn.

“Painting this piece brought me so much such joy, as the warm autumn colours encourage emotions of love,” says Bayley. “These are colours that I traditionally don't work with, so it challenged my creative self to tell the story through a new pallette. Autumn is such a beautiful time of the year so to be able to create a piece that encapsulates the feeling that this season provides people, was thoroughly enjoyable. As a Victorian Aboriginal woman, currently residing in Melbourne, I was grateful to have this opportunity to interpret what I call home."

“Over the next 12 months I’ll be collaborating with Cadbury for the Merindah-Gunya x Cadbury collections. My designs will be on the new Cadbury Roses box and other products. A Cadbury collaboration has been a dream of mine, so to see it come to life and provide education to those purchasing the boxes almost seems surreal.”

Bayley’s Top Tips

“In autumn, my top recommendations are to head to an AFL game following a delicious dinner from some of Melbourne's famous eating spots. My favourite restaurant is on Chapel Street in Windsor: Hawker Hall."

"I also love a sunset dinner at St Kilda Beach or even heading to the Elwood lookout to see the beautiful colours in the sky.

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