What I learned from the paste up in Northcote, as part of Northern exposure visual art festival 2013

Posted by on Jul 15, 2013 in Stories | One Comment

Last Friday night was the opening of an awesome festival, Northern exposure visual art festival. A bunch of visual artists were gathering together at one place for some outdoor art awesomeness in Northcote Melbourne. I have also contributed a piece of street art called “Common love” for the theme of “change”. (24 Jul New development! Vandalism and my artistic response)

Papa G was helping me pasting up

When organiser approached me one month ago about this festival, I couldn’t wait to take part because the theme “change” is just what we need right now. And marriage equality is such a hot topic at this point of time. I think we are almost there (more thoughts on this in another post), all we need is a little more push.

So when I google mapped the area where artworks are expected to appear, I was immediately interested in the wall near the church where there were some random graffiti which were not particular inspiring. Originally I wanted to do a full scale artwork which will cover the whole wall, you can see that concept below:

The blank wall in front of church
My original concept

After getting contact with the church, I learned about how the top half of the wall is heritage listed and the church is also having a plan for an interactive board underneath. It means my artwork has to be no more than one metre wide below the black line in the middle.

I also had the option of another wall somewhere else but considering the location, but I wouldn’t want to do that. I guess my creative freedom will give priority to respecting to the community, considering the impact I can achieve by having the artwork visible in the long run.

I was still thrilled to have such supportive church even on the day of my first paste up, one week before the festival. Everything was ready and perfect, and we completed it without a problem.

The first paste one week before festival

Two days later, a friend told me that the artwork was not there, obviously someone has ripped it off the wall. We had no warning, and it was quite sudden and confusing. So I contacted the organiser and church again, they were not sure what’s going on either.

Someone has taken off the artwork 2 days after the paste up

No news until the day before the festival opening, we have finally found the person who did it and sorted it all out. What I learned was always talk to everyone who share the wall with your artwork, this shows respect for the locals and your artwork will have a better chance of surviving. I was given a go ahead on the day of opening, and we went again with a new paste up.

On the day of the opening, we pasted up again, notice the black board is also installed next to the artwork.

I have to admit I’m a newbie street artist and I’m not exactly the type who sneak out at the middle of the night doing a quick spray on the wall. There are so many things you have to consider for your great ideas to achieve the best impact. I believe street art is becoming a very mainstream form of visual art and we have to learn how to make it work for both artists and locals.

If you are interested to see the show, it’s located on High St anywhere 2-3 blocks around Northcote uniting church. There are also art tours for the next two Saturdays (20 & 27 July), so you can see all works including the ones which are small and hard to find. All tour information will be updated on Facebook page. You can also check out some of my favourates in my photo album.

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