AFTER an estimated 4,000 hours, 50 litres of paint and dozens of worn-out brushes, Andy Reimanis and his team of Tweed landscape artists are finally ready to pack up their palettes and unveil a masterpiece: The Green Cauldron Panorama.
Stretching across 20 metres of panelling in the former theatrette at the World Heritage Rainforest Centre in Murwillumbah, the massive artwork depicts the view from the summit of Wollumbin Mount Warning in all its ancient glory.
From Byron Bay and along the Tweed Coast, to the distinctive landforms of Springbrook and Lamington National Parks, to the towering cliffs of the Border Ranges and south along the Nightcap Ranges, every rocky outcrop, rolling hill, sugarcane paddock, village, town and landmark is depicted in almost photographic detail.
In Murwillumbah, Mr Reimanis can point out individual houses; and, for visitors, placenames have been subtly hand-painted.
It has taken him a rotating crew of half a dozen Tweed artists more than twelve months to complete the Panorama, with the artists working seven days a week; often two or three at a time painting different sections.
"You couldn't put a price on the time they have devoted to the task and you certainly couldn't put a price on the finished artwork," said Mr Reimanis.
"It has been a labour of love for all of us - reflecting both our passion for the creative process and our respect for this magnificent landscape that inspires everything else we paint."
The Panorama project was funded by Tweed Shire Council and supported by Destination Tweed and Caldera Regional Arts, with input from the Wollumbin Consultative Group.
Mt Burrell photographer, Jaap Roskam provided invaluable reference photographs so that the artists had accurate geographic and topographic detail to work from, while Larkin Electrical installed a lighting system to enhance the depth of field and colours.
The Green Cauldron Panorama will be officially opened by Tweed mayor, Barry Longland at a VIP ceremony on December 5.
A public open day will be held on Saturday, December 8, giving visitors an opportunity to meet and talk with the artists and to paint a tree.
Andy Reimanis will give regular talks throughout the day.