Wonderwalls was an amazing festival of street art which was held on the 23- the 25th of January and was initiated by Renew Adelaide. this organisation is charged with the task of revitalising areas of the city that have been left vacant and under-utilised. The concept is simple enough, get people back into those areas by providing short term, non-commercial arrangements to keep empty spaces active. Thier goal is to provide incubation space for young and emerging entrepreneurs, encourage foot traffic in urban areas and help create vibrant cities – both socially and economically. Wonder walls in this respect was a total success, thousands of people flocked to Port Adelaide to see the street art. It is an on going initiative as street art provides a welcome catalyst for exciting development. I was unable to attend the festival but driving and walking to the Street Art sites around Port Adelaide was great the day after when most of the artists were finished their pieces. Though seeing the artists at work would have been a great experience too.
I have included a link to a map of the festival sites here
Over 20 artists from around the country and indeed around the world came to paint buildings around Port Adelaide.
ASKEW ONE (New Zealand)
This work can be seen on your way into the Port at 292 St Vincent st, on the side of a building as you travel into the City Centre. Not only is the massive female figure extremely detailed the background work is also brilliant. Seeing this work in the flesh I stood in absolute awe.
LINZ and TREAS (Brisbane)
These two pieces sit on the northern wall of the same building so you will need to get out of your car and walk around. They are not to be missed.
LINZ – The detail evident in the tonal, facial features in this work is amazing.
TREAS- This is an epic masterpiece, the detail is extraordinary the closer that you get the more you see. Depth of field tone and symmetry are all combined with vibrant colour to excite the viewer.
ETAM CRU- this work stands out across the landscape it faces west on the building so gets the afternoon sun, so it is best photographed in the morning if the day is sunny. This man has his eyes covered as if someone was behind him. A rat sits on his shoulder, he is dressed in an old style military uniform with a bright red coat with buttons. The detail again in this work is remarkable considering its size.
KAB101 (Adelaide) KAB101 has been writing on the streets of Adelaide and is considered by many in the community to be an icon. His method which is a calligraphic line is balanced and flows well. KAB’s work always has a good rhythmic feel, it is balanced with the background and creates a harmonious feeling.
STEVE GLASS (Adelaide)- I have not met Steve Glass personally but his work is unmistakeable. He enjoys creating three dimensional blocks that link together, they again are balanced in colour and form. His technical skill in the aerosol medium is the envy of many.
EPYK (Adelaide) this piece has balanced line and colour in its letter forms and quirky cartoon characters to convey a hip hop feel.
DUEL (Melbourne) Complexity of line distinguishes this work, it is energetic and alive in its colour and rhythm.
GEMMA O’BRIEN (Sydney) Gemma’s letter forms are well known. her she has created a nautical motif with fish swimming about on a swirling waterscape. I love the interaction between her letter shapes and the black and white fish.
BEASTMAN (SYDNEY) I have been a great fan of Beastman’s symetrical shapes for many years. Is work is technically brilliant and unmistakeable. His black lines hold the coloured tonal forms which together combine to form exciting arrangements. This work down commercial road is a great example of his work and should definitely be viewed up close.
TRISTAN KERR (Adelaide) The exciting letter forms in this work react with each other to give energy to the design.
NUMSKULL (Sydney) Intricate patterned shapes combine in this work by NUMSKULL to form a technically brilliant piece. I has it all balanced forms with bold lines. The whole work give the impression that it is a folded paper sculpture with each fold being comprised of a spare sheet of wrapping paper. I love this work.
KYLE HUGHES-ODGERS (Perth) This work is on a side wall of Anytime fitness and is an example of how a business can put themselves on the map with a quality piece of street art. This work adopts a simplistic style though when viewed up close the detail is amazing. The artist has contracted all of the tonal forms with what appears to be paint pen. this would have been a massive undertaking considering the size. The whimsical design is a pleasant piece of work, I will have to look out for more of this Perth Artist’s work.
ORDER55- Seb Humphrys of ORDER55 is another Adelaide artist who has many works around the city. His work is notable for its swirling shapes and forms. His colour is always balanced and harmonious. This work with its blue tones creates a feeling of calm and reflects the surrounding sea. I love the way his coloured shapes are bordered with rhythmic dark line.
MUG ONE this work by MUG ONE was unfinished at the time I photographed it, though it provides a good insight into the process in which a street artist contracts their shapes and fills in tonal areas. I am keen to see the finished work and will update it on my next visit.
ELK (Melbourne) This work is constructed with a mix of freehand background and stencilled foreground . I love the use of Picasso’s masterpiece Guernica her shown being taken for a walk by two figures a street artist and an “anonymous” mask wearing person
LISA KING- It was great to see Lisa’s work among the the street artists at Port Adelaide. She is famous for her extremely detailed female portraits. This “Love Nurse” is amazing in its detail and the way it is positioned on the wall. She gazes sideways out at the viewer inviting the viewer to inspect it further.
JOSHUA SMITH- Joshua Smith is one of the best stencil artists around. He works mostly with female forms. In this work symmetrical piece the acrobat hanging from a hoop leans toward herself across a green smoky sky. The detail in Joshua Smiths stencils is worth noting as often they are comprised of more than 30 separate colours, which of course means a lot of cutting.
JELENA VUJNOVIC- This work is one that stands out for his differences. Rather than convey conventional street art forms (if there is really such a thing) this artist paintes as if she is creating a surrealist work on canvas. her impressive tonal forms and bold shapes, all interacting create an interesting work.
NISH- the rhythmic line and form here in NISH’s work are energetic and aggressive. Sharp edges and strong contrasts combine to excite the eye.
SMUG ONE- I was lucky enough to photograph this work by Scottish artist SMUG ONE when the crowds had dies down a little. This piece is certainly a must see. It has incredible detail normally seen in an oil painting. This elderly figure is holding some South Australian icons, a Farmers Union Iced coffee (though the label has been cleverly rebranded to SMUG) and a bag of blue swimmer crabs. This fisherman looks out at the viewer as his hat blows off of his head carrying his trusty fishing rod with a Croc hanging from the hook.
Assorted Artists (Yet to Discover who exactly they are) Other works from around the Port have not been specifically identified though I am sure it will not take long before people let me know who is behind them. Most of these pieces were around the markets with the exception of the yet to be finished Port Adelaide artists group piece on the outside of their building across the Birkenhead Bridge.