I have been busy painting a mural for a public space in the Wollongong arts precinct for the 2011 viva La Gong celebrations with a theme of Spirit and Place.
The mural is 5 x 5metres a total 25 sq metres…that’s a lot of paint. The image is a peace rose. I haven’t worked this big for a long time and working with a known and familiar image of the rose,( my bus shelters and the bouquet series), made the challenge manageable
When the 8 2.5 x 1.25 panels were delivered I really started to see the massiveness of the project. I started with white undercoat to cover Josh’s mainly black painting. I decided on a peace rose. My studio could only take one panel at a time, horizontal on the table with one standing vertically leaning against the wall. I started with a charcoal drawing which I graphed up and transposed one at a time onto the 8 panels, making the leap from black and white to colour.
Edith helped paint until her asthma and hospitalisation stopped her participation.
When I finally got a dry sunny day and we laid it out in the only space large enough..there was one petal mismatch which was easily fixed. I put a few more layers of darks and lights and got a new appreciation for the aboriginal desert women I had seen sitting on the ground painting. The outdoor challenges included lots of plant matter sticking in the paint, dark staining bird poo (lots) a constantly moving dappled shadow sending me into a trance and always having a distorted view despite standing on my tallest ladder. I had underestimated the physical impact on my ageing body, several times needing heat packsand pain killer untill I learned to limit my hours. All that crouching while moving around..and tryiing not to tread on wet work, bobbing up and down to get paint!
I look forward to seeing it upright. It goes up Friday 27th in the morning and there is an opening walk to see all the new works Thursday 10th November at 6.30 and ending at Pig Alley with an event.