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Culture Scouts: Street Art Interview with Bunkwaa + Muralist Call Out
Culture Scouts talks to this Sydney local artist and street art guide about his past, his art, and the history of the street art scene in and around Newtown. What’s your favourite thing to show people in Newtown at the moment? I mean, it's the obvious one, but I really like the 'I Have A Dream' mural (on King Street) because I have a real strong connection to that mural. When I first came to Sydney there were a bunch of artists camping out under the mural - it was the really early days of artists like Ears (Daniel O’Toole) , about eight or ten years ago.
Craig taking an art workshop for school children
... We were just doing art on cardboard and stuff, I was drawing little characters on cardboard and selling them for fifteen dollars. I did that for ages, I made well over a thousand drawing like that. It was a great time, it was like an open air studio. Occasionally other people are still there. It was a free space, so people could just come and set up their stuff, and they would. It was a really arty spot for a while ...
Who painted the 'I Have A Dream' mural?
I’m really kind of intrigued by that story, it was painted by a guy called Andrew Aiken. He was a homeless person, and a street artist that did a few other murals around Newtown that no longer exist sadly but that particular one was done illegally, and he and his girlfriend (Juilee Pryor) worked on the mural for 24 hours, and some of the shopkeepers around pitched in money for cherry-pickers so they could get right up to the top and do the whole thing. But the intriguing part of the story is that after that mural was finished, he went to a priest ...
Is there anything that you might have think people might not have seen in Newtown that you like?
There’s an artist called Will Coles that I love just because of how naughty he is, he’s just so mischievous. People always miss his stuff, so you have point it out, and when you do, people start noticing him everywhere. He’s the guy responsible for cement televisions with inscriptions on them ... You might have seen the balaclavas on the the ground, all in cement. He was in Sculpture by the Sea one year, and then the next year they wouldn’t let him in so he made all these giant soy sauce sushi fish and he scattered them along the beach - they were massive. They left them there, because people liked his style - his cheekiness.