Over the past couple of weeks, Melbourne has sweltered through its biggest, longest heatwave on record. Day after day, the temperature rose well beyond 30 degrees, + towards the end of the heatwave, it reached 40 in many parts of the city.
In the middle of all of this heat, in a sunny secluded concrete Windsor carpark, I spent four days painting my latest mural.
The sun was relentless, hitting the wall at 7.30am + remaining with me until the nearby buildings cast welcome afternoon shadows from 4pm. My ridiculously white skin did little to reflect the heat, so I slathered it with sunscreen, took a deep breath, + jumped in to my heatwave-painting challenge.
(Marking out characters around the wonderful broken glass windows, + adding highlights)
The white acrylic paint which I use to create highlights dried the moment it hit the wall, so I devised a process of wetting the wall, throwing the paint on, + moving it around before it was baked solid.
(The fierce blue sky above my work in progress)
The midday heat forced me into the shade of nearby buildings, slowing my daily progress but allowing me to socialise with people who braved the heat to watch me work.
(Simple aerosol horse (Shadow) above the roller-door)
(The finished character ‘Barney’)
(Detail, Barney’s hand, aerosol + acrylic paint)
The carpark temperature rose to 40 degrees by mid-morning on my last day, just as I finished the mural. I hastily packed my car + fled to the West coast, where I submerged myself in the surf until the sun was low in the sky, successful in (but exhausted by) my heatwave-painting challenge.
(The finished mural: left to right: Shadow, Barney + Rocket Rosie)
The painted carpark is open to visitors 24 hours a day. However, if you prefer to view my mural (+ many other fantastic murals by a range of super Melbourne artists) along with live art, live music + a gallery opening, come to the upcoming Aerosol Alley launch party this Sunday 17 March.
Thank you to Wayne, Dave, Luke, Steve + John for facilitating this wall-painting session. Special thanks to Dave Russell, who kept me company, kept me caffeinated, + kept me well-hydrated over the four days. Thanks also to the wonderful folk who visited me, offered kind words, + brought cool drinks.
And, finally, thank you to Melbourne for an extended summer; although it was certainly a challenge, I feel like I’ve finally had the solid summer(y) experience that I really wanted.