Preview :: Wonderwalls Festival
November 5th 2013
They talk about ‘painting the town red’ – but why stick to one colour?
This weekend Wollongong is dipping the brush (or um, spraying the spray can?) and letting loose with a whole new palette, as artists from Australia and around the world give the ‘Gong’s walls a complete makeover.
It’s the Wonderwalls festival: a weekend-long artist takeover, where designated public wall-spaces become the canvases of an array of renowned street artists. In its second year, Wonderwalls is building on the efforts of last year to cement the Wollongong as a vibrant hub for street art and graffiti.
As rents in Sydney soar and arts funding stays stubbornly focussed in and around the CBD, artists are increasingly looking further afield for creative sites and inspiration. Wonderwalls seeks to establish and contribute to the artistic world of Wollongong, creating “a place where artists can afford to live at lower cost without sacrificing culture”.
Featured at this year’s Wonderwalls is Sydney’s Beastman; creator of the amazing stairwell mural at FBi Social, delivering a fantasmagorical melange of highly coloured, organic creatures.
Beastman spoke to FBi back in July about his creative process, revealing that he doesn’t often get out on the streets for mural work that often any more. That makes Wonderwalls one of those rare opportunities to see him work and enjoy a new piece!
Also painting the bricks around town will be Thomas Jackson – another Sydney artist who pairs decaying man-made elements with natural images, as demonstrated by the delightful STOP! SHARK piece below. Frequent collaborators Smug and Sofles will also be participating, and the weirdly wonderful Bafcat. Get familiar with the whole program here.
Events run across the weekend with artists from around the world taking over streets and alleyways to create vast streetscapes that will change Wollongong’s urban facade.
Saturday afternoon offers the opportunity to head along to artist talks from 4pm. Head on down to His Boy Elroy to hear Twoone (Japan), Fintan Magee (Brisbane), Luke Shirlaw (Ironlak) and Askew (NZ) discuss their creative spark and making the murals that go into Wonderwalls. There’s even a few sneaky bevvies being put on if you get thirsty!
WHAT :: Wonderwalls Wollongong
WHEN :: Friday 8th – Sunday 10th November
WHERE :: Wollongong’s walls – check out the mural map to plan your day
HOW MUCH :: FREE!