Stunning new artwork for WAG facade

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The Warrnambool Art Gallery (WAG) facade has been completely transformed by Ash Keating and about 80 fire extinguishers filled with paint.

The artist began his “Sunset Response” piece on Tuesday November 30 as part of the gallery’s Wallawar Festival.

WAG Director Vanessa Gerrans said that the bright colours fit in perfectly with the festival, with Wallawar the Peek Woorung word for “glow”. 

“It’s an important part of art making that there is risk taking and that your perspective is bold and that you can invite the community to be a part of that,” she said.

“It’s certainly going to generate a buzz and bring a fun, positive vibe to the gallery over summer. 

“Heaps of people have been watching, and even yelling out of their cars saying things like ‘it’s magnificent’ so that’s really nice.”

She said that the gallery facade was scheduled to be repainted in the coming months, which presented the opportunity for an ambitious artwork before then.

“It will be up until about March or April before the building is due for a maintenance renewal, so we’ve been able to get in an artwork before it will be repainted,” she said.

The artwork was inspired by photos of south-west Victorian sunsets sent to the artist.

“I used lots of silvers, greys, soft pinks and soft yellows – basing it on a sunset and linking it back to the festival,” he said.

“I don’t normally make flourescent murals because they fade after six months, but because this is a temporary project, I thought it was a good opportunity to really go there.”

Ash begun creating art using fire extinguishers in 2004. As well as allowing him to develop his signature style, he said that the unorthodox method has a practical purpose too.

“They allow you to paint on a large scale in a short amount of time and they can reach quite high without having to get up on a ladder.”

The Wallawar Festival runs until December 5 and includes a range of exhibitions, performances and talks.

For full details visit www.thewag.com.au

The Wallawar Festival is supported by the Isobel and David Jones Family Foundation and the Regional Arts Fund Quick Response Grant Scheme. The Australian Government’s Regional Arts Fund is provided through Regional Arts Australia, administered in Victoria by Regional Arts Victoria. WAG additionally acknowledges the support of Creative Victoria; and the Department of Education Training Victoria, through the Strategic Partnerships Program.