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…


Kaff-eine in Europe Pt 2

One of the sights that I was most excited to see while in Europe were the Alps. I love mountains + forests, + nowhere in the world does cloud-shredding mountains + dark, fairytale forests like the Alpine region shared by Germany, Italy, Austria + Switzerland.

I was stoked that Falk + Silke were equally keen to go on an Alpine camping weekend; so, after my first week in Munich, I put down the aerosol cans, + we headed off on the short drive to the Alps, only about an hour from town.  I had high expectations, which the Alps lived up to, + more…

Signs that you’re in Germany: having a super East German Trabant camping near you! We heard it arriving before we saw it lurching over the hill. This super vintage DDR-era car, now a rare sight in Germany, has achieved cult-like status with many folk who lived in East Germany, + vintage-lovers everywhere.  And I can see why. Quaint, austere + workmanlike, it really is a step back into the communist past. I absolutely loved it (and yes, it was towing that gorgeous vintage van in the background).

Super East German Trabant in our campground

Super East German Trabant in our campground

We set off early, keen to make the most of the sparkling sunshine.  After taking the cable car up to the hiking track, we  headed off on a wide, paved path, gobsmacked at the already-incredible views:

In the shadow of the Zugspitze, German/Austrian Alps

In the shadow of the Zugspitze, German/Austrian Alps

I’ll never forget the surreal experience of quietly ascending the mountain in the warm gentle sun, listening to the symphony of cow-bells in the valleys below. It felt like a Sound of Music film set or a staged Milka advertisement, but for the fact that it was absolutely real:

Climbing in the Karwendel mountains, German/Austrian Alps

Climbing in the Karwendel mountains, German/Austrian Alps

The path gradually became narrower, less smooth + much more steep, until we were hiking + climbing along a razor-sharp mountain ridge, with sheer drops on either side of a narrow goat-track. The views were astounding, but I began to feel that I was ill-prepared for this type of Alpine experience:

Challenging Alpine track

Challenging Alpine track

Our track would take us along the ridge, all the way to the next mountain peak (a section of the ridge-track is visible in the photo below), where we hoped we’d find the biergarten for a quick lunch-break, before tackling the return hike:

Alpine mountain-goating

Alpine mountain-goating

Exhausted (well, I was more exhausted than my Bavarian friends), we reached the biergarten + enjoyed a quick Alpine lunch looking out over othe mountains below us, before realising that we had to hurry back along the ridge super-quickly to reach the last cable-car of the day!

Alpine Biergarten, on top of the Karwendel mountains

Alpine Biergarten, on top of the Karwendel mountains

Exhausted + aching, stumbling + at times crawling, it took all of my strength to scramble back along the ridge, up + down the mountain-peaks, to the cable-car, which we reached just in time. It was at this point that we learned that our path should be undertaken only by hikers with ‘extensive hiking + Alpine experience’, with specialist footwear + special hand-held equipment.  Having completed the hike in Blundstone boots, cut-off jeans + a borrowed hat, with only a packet of Milka biscuits as a snack, I felt that my exhaustion was validated. We returned to our riverside campsite, + spent the evening out under a million Alpine stars. This day will remain in my mind as one of the most outstanding, ever.

The next morning we awoke early + headed to the Eibsee on a tip-off from Loomit, to enjoy some Alpine swimming. We arrived at the sparkling emerald lake, amazed at the panorama which unfolded around us: incredibly clear water, fringed by deep, fairytale forest, ringed entirely by looming, silent Alps including Germany’s highest mountain, the Zugspitze. We found a deserted ‘beach’, + jumped in. There could not be a more perfect place in the world for me to take a morning swim:

Eibsee, at the foot of the Zugspitze

Eibsee, at the foot of the Zugspitze

After a few hours in the Eibsee’s perfect waters, we headed home, stopping at the Walkensee for another swim + paddleboat ride. It was a super way to end a brilliant Alpine adventure.

Paddleboating, Walkensee

Paddleboating, Walkensee

Thank you to Falk + Silke, for sharing with me a genuinely incredible part of Bavaria. I can’t wait to return here soon, to spend more time in the an Alpine summer + winter,  as soon as the opportunity presents.

Part 3 of my European spraycation is coming soon…


HEARTCORE: my exciting new collaborative project launches this week

I am superexcited to be launching my new collaborative project, HEARTCORE, in a keynote presentation at Berry Street’s national The Good Childhood Conference in Melbourne this Thursday + Friday. http://www.goodchildhood.org.au/  

What is HEARTCORE?

Some children suffer great distress and significant harm growing up with violence, neglect, abuse, trauma + poverty.

What would these young people choose to tell strangers about their lives, if they had the chance? What would their stories look like?

Berry Street is an organisation which has provided foster care, child protection, youth, family violence + community services to Victorian children + families for over 130 years.

Kaff-eine is an established Victorian street + contemporary artist with a national + international following, + a reputation for depicting melancholy + often distressing subjects in understated, delicately painted street paintings.

In an Australian first, a child + family care services provider + a street artist are collaborating to create a unique, forceful body of work for the benefit of young people. Writing from young people in the Berry Street school will be interpreted by Kaff-eine + painted as a series of street art murals on walls across Melbourne. A coffee-table book titled HEARTCORE, including curated photographs of the murals, together with the writing, will then be launched at the conclusion of the project.

HEARTCORE will offer audiences raw + confronting insight into the lives of these young people. It will offer the young people themselves a genuine opportunity to have their voices, + their stories heard by many people, in their own words. It will also bring to graffiti + street art followers a new understanding of the challenges these young people face, + how they negotiate growing up in such complex circumstances.

Heartcore

Heartcore

AN EXCITING NEW PROJECT

It is the perfect match: gritty, powerful, raw writing meets delicate understated imagery painted among the urban detritus of Melbourne’s streets and lanes.

HEARTCORE will provide the young writers with a high-quality, unique, professionally produced publication of their own work; an achievement of which they can be very proud. It has the potential to inspire the young writers to further pursue writing, self-expression + other creative pursuits, building their self-confidence + skills.

HEARTCORE will create a greater understanding of the challenging lives + complex needs of young people who have not experienced a good childhood: it will attract attention from street art + contemporary art followers, professionals who work with young people, communities critically interested in improving young peoples’ lives, + other young people themselves.

HEARTCORE will also be an exciting project to watch unfold on the streets of Melbourne. Melbourne is famous globally for its vibrant, world-class graffiti + street art scene. Street art enthusiasts can look forward to a broad range of new murals with Kaff-eine’s delicate, symbolic imagery driven by the powerful stories of the young Berry Street writers. Followers can watch the process of creating freehand street works, from the earliest draft stages through to the finished paintings, using media such as aerosol paint, acrylic paint, pigment ink + other materials.

Follow the making of HEARTCORE on Instagram (@kaffeinepaints #HEARTCOREbook), on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/HEARTCOREbook ), + on this blog.

I look forward to bringing you new information, updates + developments as the project progresses.

Heartcore Facebook page

Heartcore Facebook page

xx


Kaff-eine in Europe Pt 1

I recently returned form an incredible couple of months painting, exploring + catching up with friends in Germany + France. Here are a few of the (many) highlights. Every single day brought new adventures, jaw dropping wonders, amazing experiences + absolutely beautiful people, + I am very thankful to my generous, fun-loving hosts for showing me the best of their countries, + sharing some wonderful times with me. It is a trip I will never forget:

I spent an eventful 80 hours in transit from Melbourne to Munich, with an unintended stopover in China (with only customs officers, police officers, an Air China representative + one other bemused/terrified traveller for company). It was frustrating, infuriating + almost hilarious but for the fact that it was actually happening. Once we were released, my new travelling friend + I set out on the Shanghai subway to explore the city for the rest of the day, until we could fly on to Germany. I will never complain about peak-hour public transport in Melbourne again:

Shanghai subway

Shanghai subway

Munich is a spectacular city; grand ancient buildings + a proud, lively Bavarian culture, all set against a stunning Alpine backdrop. With a super wave on the Isar River, right in the middle of the city:

Surfing in central Munich

Surfing in central Munich

In my first week, I was fortunate to stay in delightful Eresing with a lovely family,  + paint a wall with the supertalented graffiti + street artist Loomit. Loomit is a charming, hilarious, witty man with super energy + a formidable talent, + I felt very honoured to be painting with him in this perfect corner of Germany:

Beautiful Eresing, Bavaria, Germany

Beautiful Eresing, Bavaria, Germany

The wall is still in progress, with my friend + towering talent Akut also contributing to the wall when his schedule allows!

Kaff-eine contribution to collaboration with Loomit + Akut, Eresing, Germany

Kaff-eine contribution to collaboration with Loomit + Akut, Eresing, Germany (in progress)

Collaboration with Loomit + Akut, Eresing, Germany (in progress)

Collaboration with Loomit + Akut, Eresing, Germany (in progress)

While visiting Loomit at his KultFabrik studio, I had fun leaving a few simple throwies in the area:

Kaffhorse, KultFabrik, Munich, Germany

Kaffhorse, KultFabrik, Munich, Germany

xx

Kaffhorse prancing, KultFabrik, Munich, Germany

Kaffhorse prancing, KultFabrik, Munich, Germany

xx

Kaffhorse at KultFabrik, Munich, Germany

Kaffhorse at KultFabrik, Munich, Germany

Thank you, to Loomit, Falk, Silke + my Eresing friends, for giving me a super introduction to Bavaria.

After my first week in + around Munich, we decided to head off on an Alpine camping adventure…

(to be continued) x


Kaff-eine’s European spraycation

Hello,

I’ve just spent the past couple of months on an incredible, exciting, exhausting, productive, inspiring trip around Germany + France (with a little trip to Austria, + an unintended trip in China). I didn’t have great internet access while away, so while I managed to upload a selection of amazing images to my Instagram (@kaffeinepaints), I didn’t have the chance to update my blog. I’m now back in Melbourne, working on some awesome projects for the summer, but I intend to upload the first of a series of posts about my European spraycation soon. Watch this space.


Wet wet wet Wollongong

It has taken weeks to dry out my clothes, painting materials, sleeping gear + entire car following the wettest painting session I’ve ever undertaken, in NSW’s Wollongong + surrounds. But the fun I had by far eclipsed the drenching I endured. The Illawarra region is utterly beautiful, full of fascinating places natural + industrial, + filled with wonderful warm folk  with whom I shared many good times.

On arrival, I watched stormclouds loom, + quickly hunted around town for some suitable places to make quick paintings:

Street painting

Street painting

The rain started to fall as I finished my last throwie. Over the following couple of days I watched the downpour from an enormous empty warehouse, generously loaned to me by artist Poncho Army, where I could paint some panels for Wollongong in comfort. The rain wasn’t going to beat me.

Pig Burden: aerosol + acrylic paint on board: panel for Pig Alley, Wollongong

Pig Burden: aerosol + acrylic paint on board: panel for Pig Alley, Wollongong

Deerhunter: acrylic paint on warehouse wall: Coniston, Wollongong

Deerhunter: acrylic paint on warehouse wall, Wollongong

I also painted a mural at The Little Prince, a super local cafe/bar/restaurant which was deceptively quiet during the day, then overflowing with fun folk in the evenings.

Mural for The Little Prince, Wollongong: aerosol on wall

Mural for The Little Prince, Wollongong: aerosol on wall

After nearly a week of constant torrential downpour, complete with dam-bursts, rock-falls, closed roads + widespread flooding (I was unlucky enough to visit during a weather inversion, where the rain was trapped in the region, circling around + around, unable to dissipate), I decided to try to drive above the clouds, up into the Highlands, to escape the soggy weather. I was so glad that I did…

A few years ago I had read about an enormous abandoned factory high up in the NSW mountains; while trying to escape the rain I was lucky enough to find the property, in the centre of a large field, ringed by forest, solemnly overlooking the townsfolk who went about their business oblivious to its dark, looming presence.  And the rain had stopped.

Kaffcouch, abandoned complex, Southern Highlands NSW

Kaffcouch, abandoned complex, Southern Highlands NSW

Stately abandoned property, Southern Highlands NSW

Stately abandoned property, Southern Highlands NSW

Kafficorn: aerosol on wall, abandoned complex, Southern Highlands NSW

Kafficorn: aerosol on wall, abandoned complex, Southern Highlands NSW

I would have liked to have stayed longer, but local security was enthusiastic + tenacious, so I returned to the sodden township at the base of the mountains, thankful to have had a break from rainfall for a few hours at least.

The ‘Bread and Butter’ art event scheduled towards the end of my Wollongong week event gave me a superfun chance to talk alongside Ears, Apeseven + Poncho Army about my art career,  + also live paint with Apeseven + Poncho Army throughout the day. It was a fun, social way to wrap up my time in the region.

Live painting with Apeseven + Poncho Army, Wollongong

Live painting with Apeseven + Poncho Army, Wollongong

On my last morning in Wollongong, I awoke to silence: no drumming of rain on the roof, it had finally ceased! I emerged from the house + was met with brilliant blue skies + warm sunshine, the region’s parting gift to me.  I had been wanting to use a nearby piece of hard rubbish as a canvas for a portrait of Ludwig, the beautiful Boxer who had (along with his owners)  welcomed me into his home, but until now the rain had prevented me. Very quickly,  I scrawled his lovely face on the table, + left his happy family for a quick explore of the region before heading home.

Quick throwie on a rain-soaked table, with model Ludwig posing handsomely

Quick throwie on a rain-soaked table, with model Ludwig posing handsomely

I found an incredibly beautiful installation in nearby Port Kembla; on a clifftop overlooking a thundering ocean sat an army of stark white pyramids. They were not accompanied by any signage or explanation, + while I imagined a variety of celestial or otherwordly  purposes, I later discovered that they were tank barriers, placed in the shallows to prevent tanks coming ashore during World War II.  Practical in origin, but no less magical in effect.

Spectacular Port Kembla pyramids

Spectacular Port Kembla pyramids

While driving to a nearby lookout on the road home, I came across a burned-out car, the smell of freshly charred  rubber + plastic still lingering in the calm morning air. After a quick painting I drove away, planning to return shortly + take a photo with the car in the full sun; instead, with incredibly good/bad timing, I returned 20 minutes later to the sight of the car being towed!

Horsepower, Southern Highlands charred roadside wreck

Horsepower, Southern Highlands charred roadside wreck

It was a fantastic week, + I am excited at the prospect of returning to the region later in the year.

A huge thank you to Poncho Army, for organising Bread and Butter, inviting me to the region, offering me your super warehouse/workshop space, + welcoming me into your wonderful home. I look forward to seeing you again soon.

x


Painting for the Eureka Arts Hotel

I recently spent a week painting in Geelong for the new Eureka Arts Hotel. The venue now boasts a range of new art by street artists such as Ha Ha, Drew Funk, Shida + many more. I was excited to collaborate again with Lucy Lucy, + create some special images for the new venue.

We began painting while the venue was still being renovated, working amongst the scaffolds, circular saws + tradespeople, creating a ‘snowscape hunting’ themed image for the reception area. We then collaborated on a ‘zoo’ themed piece, painting our own characters, + also making our first genuinely ‘fused’ character in the centre of the composition,  creating her as we went:

Zoo collaboration with Lucy Lucy

Detail, Kaff-eine x Lucy Lucy collab

Detail, Kaff-eine Lucy Lucy character

Lucy Lucy x Kaff collab little dude

We then painted other pieces around the venue. I painted some deerhunters for a lounge area:

Crumpled Deerhunter

Deerhunter

And an English fox hunting painting for a separate bar area:

Hunting Scene

Detail, Foxhunting scene

We had a great time painting together, + have made some super plans for future collaborations.

To check out our new collaborations, see some new Kaff-eine + Lucy Lucy works, + some super artwork from many of Melbourne’s street + urban artists, head to the Eureka Arts Hotel on Little Malop st in Geelong.


Flying Zeppelin, Brunswick

 

I recently had the pleasure of painting a mural on a playroom wall for a lovely family in Brunswick. I painted the youngest family member flying across the room on her fun-loving Staffy pup, appropriately named Zeppelin.  Good times, in one of my favourite places in Melbourne.

Flying Zeppelin, aerosol + acrylic paint mural

Flying Zeppelin, aerosol + acrylic paint mural

Detail, Flying Zeppelin

Detail, Flying Zeppelin

x


New Hunting Ground opening exhibition, Fitzroy

I am very excited to be a part of the opening exhibition at New Hunting Ground, above the Juddy Roller cafe in Fitzroy, this Friday 21 June. The opening exhibition, which has an incredible line-up of super Australian + international contemporary + street artists, promises to be as varied as it is spectacular.

NewHuntingGround_www.edinfocus.com

New Hunting Ground website

New Hunting Ground website

New Hunting Ground, Fitzroy (pic by Edinfocus)

New Hunting Ground, Fitzroy (pics by Edinfocus)

Last week, in preparation for the opening, I spent a few hours painting a melancholy portrait in the nearby laneway:

Juddy Roller laneway (pic by Edinfocus)

Juddy Roller laneway (pic by Edinfocus)

Check out the full line-up of artists + artworks (including my pieces for sale) on the New Hunting Ground website: http://www.newhuntingground.com/, + come to Fitzroy from 7pm on Friday to see the new space, + the artworks, in person.

x

UPDATE: Check out the fantastic clip from New Hunting Ground’s opening night: http://vimeo.com/69445712