ANZ is set to launch a street art project that will see large scale murals appear on unused walls across Sydney, recognising local people with inspiring stories to tell.
Four of Australia’s most celebrated street artists Stormie Mills, E.L.K, Adnate, and Kaff-eine will bring to life portraits of those who have made strong contributions to their communities.
ANZ Managing Director Retail Distribution Catriona Noble said:
“We’ve been committed to supporting Sydney’s cultural scene for some years through our involvement with the Archibald Prize, Spectrum Now Festival and Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
The commissioning of these portraits of inspiring individuals is another way we aim to connect with the Sydney community through the arts.”
Painting since 1984, Stormie has been exploring the human condition through his work, investigating humanity in a pursuit to understand what drives our deepest desires and emotions. Stormie will be painting retired Rugby League player Nathan Hindmarch.
Post retirement Nathan has been drawn towards a career helping others, working tirelessly for his community by focusing on the mental health of young Australians and working to end violence towards women. “I don’t know whether it was my upbringing? My parents influence? I think you just get to a point in your life where you know you can give back. It’s a no brainer,” he says.
Recently Nathan’s focus with NRL’s Once Community has seen him focus on the mental health of young Australians, conducting clinics and forums on mental health and resilience throughout New South Wales.
Luke Cornish (aka E.L.K) is a Sydney-based artist who creates unique, powerful images from handmade stencils. Some of Cornish’s stencils contain over 80 layers. The subject of his Archibald entry, the infamous ex-priest Father Bob Maguire, contains more than 30 and was influenced by Cornish’s association of him with his own grandfather. Atheist, religious iconography can be seen frequently in his work.
E.L.K will paint a portrait of professional boxer and black belt Parish Priest, ‘Fighting’ Father Dave Smith. Father Dave Smith uses boxing to help troubled youth in Sydney. Father Dave says “When I opened the Youth Centre, 9 out of 10 kids we were dealing with had heroin issues. I lost a lot of kids, it was like a bloody war zone, it really was.” Over the past 25 years Father Dave has worked tirelessly with at-risk young people, using boxing to save people from a life of heroin addiction and crime.
Kaff-eine is an established street and contemporary artist within Melbourne’s globally-celebrated street art scene. Recognised by her illustrative freehand style, delicate linework and quiet melancholic characters, Kaff-eine has been invited to paint her artwork, created with aerosol, acrylic paint and pigment ink, on public and private walls across Australia, Germany, France and the Philippines, in galleries, businesses, homes, and on the streets.
Kaff-eine will be painting co-founder of anti-homophobic bullying campaign Wear It Purple, Katherine Hundson. Hundson has been a passionate advocate for gay and lesbian rights, and social justice from a very young age. Wear It Purple was founded in 2010, after Hundson became actively aware of the rate of youth suicide amongst young LGBTI people. “I saw purple as a way of bringing people together from all different backgrounds and creating one thing…a symbol of unity,” Katherine says.
Melbourne based Matt Adnate (aka Adnate), one of street art’s most influential big wall painters.
Adnate has transcended his origins as a graffiti artist to develop a complex practice that rivals the establishment of contemporary portraiture. His monumental works portraying Indigenous children have captivated viewers around the world. Regularly commissioned by the City of Melbourne, Adnate strongly believes in giving back to the communities to which his subjects belong. Beyond deepening his own understanding of Aboriginal culture, he hopes that his art might trigger greater public engagement with indigenous culture.
Adnate will paint a mural of Jenny Munro, founder of the Redfern Aboriginal Tent Embassy. Wiradjuri elder Jenny Munro has been fighting for Aboriginal housing rights for more than four decades and is being celebrated for her contribution to the community. Munro continually fights for Aboriginal rights and sovereignty, motivated by what she sees as a system that continues to oppress Aboriginal Australians. Jenny says “the system has removed hope for our children, I grew up with hope, and I still maintain hope for our young people, but the system doesn’t give it to them, that’s why we have an epidemic of suicide in our young people, everyone needs hope to cling on to.”
Stormie will be painting Nathan in Parramatta on Monday June 20, with a view to finish June 24 at the latest.
E.L.K will start painting Father Dave in Sydney CBD on Monday June 20 with a view to finish June 30.
Kaff-Eine will be painting the portrait of Katherine in Bondi Junction on Monday 27 June, with a view to finish on July 1 or 2.
Adnate will start painting the portrait of Jenny in Haymarket on Monday 20 June, with a view to finish on Friday 24 June.
Photographs: Simon Lekias