Invitation to Heartcore book launch 25 September

Invitation to Heartcore book launch 25 September 2014

Heartcore NP

Berry Street invites you to join them at an event to launch HEARTCORE – a collaborative book that combines the unique stories and poems of Berry Street school students with my interpretation of them as street art paintings. I will be joining Berry Street at the launch, + am excited to celebrate the production of such a special publication with the HEARTCORE team, supporters, and YOU!

HEARTCORE books are already available for purchase at the special pre-launch price of $40, from Berry Street, at http://www.heartcorebook.com.au. Books will also be available for purchase on the night.

All proceeds from the sale of the book will support Berry Street’s work with vulnerable children and young people.

EVENT DETAILS:

Venue: The Mind Room, 5 Glasshouse Rd, Collingwood Melbourne

Date + time: Thursday 25 September 2014: 7-9pm (drinks are on Berry Street)

See y’all there!


Heartcore

Circus Oz

Circus Oz

20 BERRY STREET SCHOOL STUDENTS / 20 STORIES / 20 STREET PAINTINGS / 3 MONTHS / 1 STREET ARTIST / 1 BOOK

After an intense 3 month summer painting session, which saw me paint 20 Heartcore murals + pieces in freezing, driving rain + blistering 45 degree heat (thanks Melbourne weather), all the paintings are now complete, + I am in the process of co-designing the Heartcore book, + planning the launch event. All the proceeds from the sale of the book will go towards Berry Street’s work with children, young people + families.

SAVE THE DATE: BOOK LAUNCH 25 SEPTEMBER, FITZROY.

Stay tuned for more details about the launch, + for information on how you can be involved in an anonymous, creative group ‘thank you’ to the young authors at the launch.

The wonderful Rowena Naylor has shot beautiful, professional images of my walls for the book; here are some of my personal photos of the walls:

xxx

Old Coburg House

Old Coburg House

Fitzroy Lane

Fitzroy Lane

Fitzroy Lane

Fitzroy Lane

Rutledge Lane Melbourne CBD

Rutledge Lane Melbourne CBD (photo thanks to Herald Sun)

Trafford st Brunswick

Trafford st Brunswick

Northcote (photo thanks to Kim)

Northcote (photo thanks to Kim)

Brunswick rooftop

Brunswick rooftop

Napier St Fitzroy

Napier St Fitzroy

Fitzroy Lane

Fitzroy Lane

 


HEARTCORE: book launch late September 2014

After a long blog-absence while I spent the last few months creating 20 street paintings for the Heartcore Berry Street x Kaff-eine collaborative project, I am stoked to be back, + will be bringing you some exciting Heartcore developments + dates very soon.

Stay tuned for a recap of my super summer Heartcore painting sessions, information about the special Heartcore book, + details about the super Heartcore book launch, scheduled for September 2014!

Heartcore Noble Park

Heartcore Noble Park

x


Art Para Sa Lahat, Para Sa Visayas: fundraising for victims of Typhoon Yolanda

Prior to visiting the Philippines, I’d been in contact with some Filipino street + graffiti artists, getting to know them + organising some neat street painting opportunities. Our focus changed after Super-typhoon Yolanda hit + devastated entire cities in the Visayas.

Only a few hours after I landed in Manila, I made my way to Fully Booked, a super bookstore/event centre in Global City, where I joined a huge gathering of Manila’s most active street + graffiti artists to live paint + raise funds for communities affected by Yolanda. It was a crazy, super-busy day, where I met + painted next to many of my new Filipino friends. It was a brilliant introduction to Manila’s warmth, hospitality, creativity + community spirit +, together, we helped to raise hundreds of thousands of Philippine Pesos for the relief effort.

The next evening, I was the feature live-painter at Art Para Sa Lahat Para Sa Visayas, another urban/street art fundraising project created + organised by the fantastic (+ super talented) artist Geloy Concepcion. Geloy put out the call for artists to donate works for sale, then worked with the PSP + Secret Fresh Gallery at the super RONAC Art Centre to offer this one-night-only event. I loved the chance to again catch up with my new friends, create some artwork in support of a great cause, + see my donated prints (+ Dean Sunshine’s Land of Sunshine Melbourne street art books) on display in great company.

Art Para Sa Lahat

t Art Para Sa Lahat

Big Boy (left, below) + the crew put on a super gig, full of rad street art, beats, street food + good times.

RONAC Art Centre, Manila

RONAC Art Centre, Manila

Watching the live painting

Watching the live painting

Funds raised from the sale of artwork have already been distributed to the affected areas personally, by Geloy + friends:

Donated street art + graffiti sold to raise funds for victims of Yolanda

Donated street art + graffiti sold to raise funds for victims of Yolanda

Celebrating at RONAC Art Centre

At RONAC Art Centre

Outside at the live painting, RONAC Art Centre

Outside at the live painting, RONAC Art Centre

I used markers to draw/paint a deerhunter, which my new friends then completed, to super effect.

Street + graffiti artists live painting

Street + graffiti artists live painting over/around a Kaff deerhunter

Live painting

Live painting

I loved seeing how they transformed the deerhunter into a genuinely Filipino work of street art:

The finished collaboration

The finished collaboration

Detail, the finished collaboration for Art Para Sa Lahat

Detail, the finished collaboration for Art Para Sa Lahat

It was a great evening, with art sales contributing more much-needed funds for Typhoon Yolanda victims. I was stoked that my donated prints had all sold, + I was also stoked to be able to buy some great Filipino artworks to take home with me. Thank you Geloy, PSP + Secret Fresh Gallery, for making me feel so welcome in a new land, + for making my first weekend in the Philippines ones which I will never forget. Salamat Po!

Geloy with his team Jus Belib in Typhoon affected Visayas

Geloy with his team Jus Belib in the typhoon-ravaged Visayas, during their visit to distribute funds raised through Art Para Sa Lahat (photo from Geloy’s Facebook profile)

x


Art with Heart: street art fundraiser for victims of Typhoon Yolanda

Two weeks before I was due for my first visit to the Philippines, Typhoon Yolanda (internationally known as Typhoon Haiyan) hit the country. It was officially the strongest storm ever recorded on landfall, + the deadliest Philippine typhoon on record, devastating entire cities, killing thousands, rendering tens of thousands injured + homeless, + causing unimaginable damage.

Responding to this catastrophe, the Filipino graffiti + street art community (along with many other communities + organisations nationally + worldwide) sprang into action to help their fellow countrymen + women suffering in the aftermath of Yolanda, organising emergency relief + fundraising events across Manila. I had been in contact with a few Filipino street artists in the lead-up to my visit, + was invited to become part of their fundraising efforts at a couple of events only hours after I was due to land in the Philippines.

I arrived at midnight, we fought our way through the smoggy, chaotic Manila traffic to the apartment, I slept for a few hours, + awoke at dawn to travel to Fully Booked bookstore + event centre at Global City, the venue for Art for Heart:

Art with Heart

Art with Heart

The venue was buzzing with many artists all donating resources + time to create works, which were then to be auctioned, + many supporters who had arrived early to buy sketches, artworks + paintings. It was an incredible introduction to the country for me; I made many new friends; learned about art techniques, conventions + culture in the Philippines; heard many horror stories about the typhoon + many heartwarming stories of strength + generosity; + painted alongside a collection of the most active + high profile graffiti + street artists in the Philippines, including members of the CVTY Crew + PSP (Pilipinas street Plan):

Filipino street + graffiti artists, along with comic artists, live painting to raise funds for victims of Typhoon Yolanda

Filipino street + graffiti artists, along with comic artists, live painting to raise funds for victims of Typhoon Yolanda

F*ck Yolanda

F*ck Yolanda

Stay Strong Philippines

Stay Strong Philippines

My piece was created with a variety of media including charcoal, latex paint, ink + marker pen; the charcoal I brought over with me, the rest of the materials were kindly donated by Geloy Concepcion, Jood, Koo Koo + Rai  Cruz. It was a fantastic event to be a part of, + it was super to witness the energy, enthusiasm, laughter + goodwill of the Filipino graffiti + street art community, while they created a range of super artworks for the upcoming auction.

Deerhunter for Yolada: mixed media on canvas

Deerhunter for Yolada: mixed media on canvas

The successful event raised $787,000 pesos on the day, with around $300,000 pesos coming from direct art sales, even prior to the street + graffiti artworks being auctioned.

See footage of the event here, along with a small cameo jetlagged appearance by me:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6s1Teu03SA&feature=youtu.be

Thank you to Fully Booked, PSP, Geloy, Jood , Carrot Bombing, Rai + the Filipino Street Art Project, for informing me about the event + allowing me to take part. I look forward to following your work online, + seeing you all again in the future for more graffiti + street art adventures.

x


Rai Cruz x Kaff-eine wall, Manila, Philippines

Rai Cruz is a university art + design lecturer, who is also a respected, high profile contemporary + street artist practising throughout the Philippines. I had been chatting with Rai before arriving  in the Philippines, to learn more about the local street culture + organise some painting opportunities. I met Rai (along with most of Manila’s super street art community) the morning after I landed, at the ‘Art With Heart’ Typhoon Yolanda fundraising event (more about this in a later post).

Rai very generously arranged for us to paint a collab wall together in Las Pinas, a city in Manila, in the week that I arrived. I was super-keen to paint some street pieces with Rai + some of the local artists, + stoked to be visiting a different part of Manila.

The location was fantastic; a smooth wall on a neat house, at a large intersection with plenty of character. After a quick chat about images, we hit the wall: 

Sketching out the design

Sketching out the design

After sketching up a design we began to paint, me with aerosol + Rai with latex paint:

In progress

In progress

Almost complete

Almost complete

Rai, his students + film crew in front of the finished collab

Rai, his students + film crew in front of the finished collab

Thank you Rai, your students + crew, for making my day with you superfun! Thank you for organising this wall in such a great place, + for taking time out from your busy work + family life to paint such a rad collab with me. I loved painting in the crazy sunshine + heat, loved meeting the local folk, + loved collaborating with you.

The finished wall, with some of the local helpers

The finished wall, with some of the local helpers

Close-up of the finished Rai Cruz x Kaff-eine wall, Las Pinas, Manila

Close-up of the finished Rai Cruz x Kaff-eine wall, Las Pinas, Manila

I look forward to street painting with Rai again on my return to the Philippines in future.

x


A special collaboration mural in the Philippines

I recently visited the Philippines, + was fortunate to be able to paint a special mural on the wall of (+ with children from) the headquarters of Bahay Tuluyan (BT), a Non-Government Organisation which aims to prevent + respond to the abuse + exploitation of children in the Philippines. The headquarters is located in the heart of Malate, a super-busy shanty town in Manila.

Malate, in Manila, Philippines

Malate, in Manila, Philippines

Bahay Tuluyan's own Jeepney

Bahay Tuluyan’s own Jeepney

Despite being home to many restaurants, bars + attractions, the Malate population includes many families living below the poverty line + on the streets. In order to support children in the community, BT offers an emergency + residential shelter for children in need of special protection; reintegration + after care; an independent living skills program; a drop-in centre; a classroom; alternative education; community organising; children’s rights education; participatory action research, + local/national/international advocacy.

BT Malate is constantly buzzing with many children, staff (comprising volunteers, managers, + young people in training who first came to BT in need of shelter, care or protection) + construction workers (the new headquarters are being built in stages, as donated funds arrive). The centre maintains an upbeat, cheery atmosphere, with everyone collaborating to accomplish daily tasks, + make BT (+ surrounding spaces)  a fun, supportive place to be. I was excited to start painting, in a context completely different to that in which I had ever painted before…

The entrance to Sinag, the children's crisis shelter, where I painted the mural

The entrance to Sinag, the BT children’s crisis shelter, where I painted the mural

I had anticipated that the wall would take 2 days to complete. Of course, this underestimated the time it would take me to source paints, commute + complete the work in a huge city such as Manila, in an area with many street children + folk, in a children’s shelter, in tropical weather. Over the course of 4 days, in thick smog, humidity + heat interspersed with torrential rain, amidst the constant fire of small BB guns (considered mandatory by most of the street children), continuous karaoke featuring 80s power ballads, + intense scrutiny from the local community, under the watch of a lovely armed guard (with great taste in music), four BT children + I completed the wall.

I am used to working with aerosol, laying out a range of cans on the floor at my feet + working with 4 or 5 at once. Here in the streets of Malate, that was not possible. I had chosen latex paints (so that the children could paint with me), hoping to mix everything from the primary colours in trays at the wall. However, the hands of curious onlookers + mischievous children ensured that I had to mix colours behind closed doors inside BT, navigate through the children in the shelter to reach the wall with a full paint tray, + paint with one colour at a time, holding the tray + brushes in my spare hand (paint or brushes placed on the ground were quickly put to use elsewhere). For each of the 20+ colours I used, the process had to be repeated. This completely different process, combined with waiting-time during downpours, waiting to be let back into the shelter to mix paints, + chasing little ‘helpers’ who ran off with my brushes (or dipped ammunition in my paint before firing) was time-consuming but hilarious.

It was the hardest painting I’ve completed to date, but also the most satisfying by far.

Young collaborators from Bahay Tuluyan painting in torrential rain

Young collaborators from Bahay Tuluyan painting in torrential rain

The young artists, wise beyond their years, were given complete control over the characters’ clothing. Two pairs worked on a character each. They worked hard to choose their colours + make patterns, + refused to stop painting when the weather closed in. The tough, determined, responsible young women created some fantastic clothes for the wall, + were an absolute joy to work with; I wish I’d had more time with them, to paint many more pieces around the neighbourhood.

Two of the talented artists who collaborated with me on the Bahay Tuluyan mural, with their work

Two of the talented artists who collaborated with me on the Bahay Tuluyan mural, with their work

Artists at work on the characters clothing

Artists at work on the characters clothing

I was lucky to be fed by BT’s restaurant (a training facility for children in BT care) while painting, enjoying vegetarian pizzas, muffins, brewed coffee + other treats. On the fourth day, exhausted from a cold (or my lungs adapting to Manila’s air), I added the finishing touches to the wall, + attempted to take some clear photos of the finished piece, in context, without the throngs of children in front of the images.

Finished mural - clothing by Bahay Tuluyan children, the rest by me

Finished mural – clothing by Bahay Tuluyan children, the rest by me

I tried to be discreet with photo-taking (mindful that my camera + phone were hot property to those desperate to make money), but no matter how subtle I was, as soon as I tried, scores of gorgeous, cheeky children would materialise in front of the lens! Posing with their friends + their BB guns, they made it into almost every shot I took. That evening I was recounting my photography attempts to my Filipino friend, exasperated that I couldn’t get a good photo of my work ‘in context’.

Finished mural - clothing by Bahay Tuluyan children, the rest by me

Finished mural – clothing by Bahay Tuluyan children, the rest by me

My friend reminded me that I had painted amongst scores of children + residents of the shanty-town all week;  that they were, absolutely, my context! So here are some photos of my work, in context:

Finished mural, with some of my many helpers

Finished mural, with some of my many helpers

… + some rare ones, with nobody in the frame:

Kaff-eine x Bahay Tuluyan mural, Malate

Kaff-eine x Bahay Tuluyan mural, Malate

Kaff-eine x Bahay Tuluyan mural, Malate

Kaff-eine x Bahay Tuluyan mural, Malate

I had an absolutely unforgettable, fantastic week, + I would like to sincerely thank the managers, staff + children of Bahay Tuluyan headquarters, + the residents of Malate, for allowing me to be a part of their lives. I hope that the collaborative mural brings pride + joy to BT + Malate, + inspires the young artists to keep painting + creating in future.

For more information about Bahay Tuluyan, see http://www.bahaytuluyan.org/aboutus_history_2_5_1.html

x


Special new limited edition prints Pt 1

Two of the images in my new range of limited edition prints have a special story behind them, which I want to share with you here: 

CUSHION ME / SHELTER ME    No.1 + No.2

On 25 April, during the First World War, Australian soldiers recaptured a small French village called Villers Bretonneux. The battle became a turning point in the War; it prevented the German army from advancing, + destroyed their last hopes of winning the War. Afterwards, Victorian schoolchildren + the Education Department funded the rebuilding of the devastated village school. For their bravery + generosity, the Villers Bretonneux townsfolk vowed to ‘Never Forget Australia’, + almost a century later, they continue to keep that promise. From the ashes of that short, bloody battle arose a unique, heartfelt international friendship. In 2009, after the devastating bushfires destroyed many Victorian communities, schoolchildren from the rebuilt Villers Bretonneux school raised funds to help rebuild one of the Victorian schools incinerated by the fires. They have never forgotten Australia.

Cushion Me / Shelter Me #1

Cushion Me / Shelter Me #1

Cushion Me / Shelter Me  #2

Cushion Me / Shelter Me #2

I felt honoured to illustrate a children’s book about this special Franco-Australian friendship (the Promise, released by Scholastic Australia in April 2013), + to be invited to paint an aerosol street art mural reflecting the friendship, opposite the Villers Bretonneux Town Hall, in September 2013.

Drafting the mural, Villers Bretonneux, France, Sept 2013

Drafting the mural, Villers Bretonneux, France, Sept 2013

Detail, Villers Bretonneux mural, aerosol on wall, sept 2013

Detail, Villers Bretonneux mural, aerosol on wall, sept 2013

My mural, titled ‘Cushion me / Shelter me’ comprises two images. Both images symbolize the reciprocal friendship between Australia + France; both images are designed to be ambiguous in meaning – Who is supporting whom? Who is comforting whom?  This complexity, for me, reflects the real nature of the true friendship between Australia (the kangaroos) + France (the humans). Neither is stronger, + neither is dominant; both have provided support, friendship + comfort, cushioning + sheltering the other when they have most needed it.

Finished mural: Cushion Me / Shelter Me, aerosol on wall, Villers Bretonneux, France, Sept 2013

Finished mural: Cushion Me / Shelter Me, aerosol on wall, Villers Bretonneux, France, Sept 2013

The watercolour paintings, which I have released as limited edition prints (Cushion me / Shelter me No. 1 + No. 2) in two different sizes + edition numbers, are based on the same draft images I used to paint the street art mural in Villers Bretonneux, France, in September 2013.

For details about the new prints, including their edition sizes, dimensions + prices, + to purchase either online or in store, see http://signedandnumbered.com.au/limited/kaff-eine?show=prints


Kaff-eine for Heartcore: first painting completed in Rutledge Lane

The first painting for Heartcore is now complete! I painted the image in a single 11-hour painting session in challenging conditions last week in Rutledge Lane, Melbourne CBD.  Thank you to everyone who braved the cold + wet, + visited with company, coffee + food. Thanks also to the organisers of the All Your Walls event (of which this painting was a part) for your hard work + support, + to the National Gallery of Victoria, who sponsored All Your Walls.

Stay tuned for details about the next story to be painted, + information about when + where it will be completed…

Draft image for the first Heartcore painting

Draft image for the first Heartcore painting

Early morning, waiting for the scissor lift

Early morning, waiting for the scissor lift

Laying the base colour for the painting

Laying the base colour for the painting

The character, sketched out on the wall

The character, sketched out on the wall

Work in progress (photo courtesy of Herald Sun)

Work in progress (photo courtesy of Herald Sun)

Detail of the finished piece

Detail of the finished piece

Detail of the finished piece

Detail of the finished piece

The finished piece

The finished piece

Heartcore photographer Rowena shooting the first image for the Heartcore book

Heartcore photographer Rowena shooting the first image for the Heartcore book

Young writer Zipoe drops a great piece at the base of my finished piece, the day after it was completed

Young writer Zipoe drops a great piece at the base of my finished piece, the day after it was completed

The Age has an article + short interview about my piece: http://www.theage.com.au/entertainment/art-and-design/city-lane-to-be-a-highway-of-art-20131108-2x6r3.html 

And the Herald Sun also included an article including progress photos of my work: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/iconic-hosier-lane-gets-makeover/story-fni0fit3-1226756097673


Kaff-eine in Europe Pt 3: accommodation

I stayed in many wonderful locations, in many wonderful forms of accommodation during my recent European spraycation. The private homes into which I was invited were gorgeous, character-filled + very, very welcoming. The accommodation I lived in while exploring away from my wonderful friends was also super.  Here are a couple of the more remote highlights, hidden away in the European countryside:

I spent a few nights in a super recycled sewer pipe overlooking the Danube River in Austria. Cosy, private (on the very edge of a tiny ancient town), + surprisingly warm:

Concrete pipe hotel room, Austria

It was wonderful to lock myself away from the world after long days spent exploring Western Austria.

Dusk, Concrete pipe hotel room

I was also lucky to be able to spend a few nights in a charming gherkin barrel (Gurkenfass), in the north of Germany, in the middle of a UNESCO-listed biosphere forest reserve (+ the home of the pickled gherkin):

Gurkenfass, Germany

I loved the chance to spend my evenings surrounded by a babbling brooks, + the curious sounds of forest critters wandering through the undergrowth:

Gurkenfass gherkin barrel room, Germany

I’m looking forward to finding more character-filled remote accommodation when I return to Europe, very soon.  Stay tuned for part 4 of my European spraycation, going live soon…


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