Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
1. REFLECTIONS: Guido Van Helten and The Wellington Dam Mural
2. Mear One in Los Angeles via Bird Man
3. Telmo Miel: Tunnel Vision in Brussels
BSA Special Feature: REFLECTIONS: Guido Van Helten and The Wellington Dam Mural
A trip today to Wellington Dam, a jewel in the national park in Southwest Australia, only a couple of hours from Perth. Queensland Artist Guido van Helten took care to study the history and people from the dam area to understand their connection to it better – and in the process, it found a more profound connection to the water by some of the people who have lived there for many years.
“It’s just weird to feel like you’re this ‘issue’ in society and that the world is divided with how much they should care about you or how much they should listen to you or should be concerned with issues around your life. It’s weird to be like a battleground,” says co-director and subject Kwesi Thomas says in the opening of the film.
Using a bespoke swing stage, the artist painted the 8000 square meter mural with the help of serious engineering talents from the dam authority, who moved him 30 times to paint in enormous strips of texture and memories.
“I was basically painting while it was moving up and down, up and down,” he says. Part of The Collie Mural Trail that consists of 40 murals throughout the town, Guido says that “Reflections” is inspired by local stories and photographs. In addition to the sheer size and impact of its focus, the video also tells a rather moving story.
Behind the scenes: The making of the Wellington Dam Mural by Guido Van Helten
Mear One in Los Angeles via Bird Man
The Melrose alleys in LA provide inspiration here in this video shot and directed by Birdman – of the tribute to the Czech painter, illustrator and graphic Alphonse Mucha by graffti/muralist Kalen Ockerman, known as Mear One.
Choosing the goddess Gaia as muse, Mear One talks in his over-narration of what he say as Mucha’s treatement of the feminine and how it was reflected in the beauty of nature, its harmonious design, function and aesthetic. “I always loved how he expressed visually the spiritual and mystical,” he says. The clarity of his focus is apparent here as he pays honor to the artist as well as science, art, and philosophy.
Telmo Miel: Tunnel Vision in Brussels
Here is a tunnel in Brussels artists Miel (Amsterdam) and Telmo (Rotterdam) painted a human chain metaphorically connecting the neighborhoods of Machelen and Diegem. The public work is meant perhaps to ease among residents amid news reports of increased vandalism, drug use, and traffic nuisances among some. As in many western countries, it may have something to do with economics, race, and class. Says organizer All About Things, a private gallery-fueled public cultural initiative that has locked in many international street artists to beautify the area, “this mishmash of people indicates that we are stronger together.”