As part of our partnership with Melbourne Fringe Festival, we have been working closely with the team at Fringe to develop a unique large scale artwork to feature on the Bank Australia Ticket Booth in City Square.
We spoke to George Rose - the artist who did such an incredible job of bringing this unusual work to life - about her artistic practice and why Melbourne Fringe is so important for emerging artists.
What is your background and what kind of work do you currently do?
I’m George Rose. I'm a practicing artist. I paint mainly large-scale murals and other things such as shipping containers.
At the moment, I predominately paint murals, which means that I'm on-site a lot. I fly around to different places and get up on scaffolding and use cherry pickers and scissor lifts and go and paint the sides of buildings, people's walls usually.
What is the Bank Australia Ticket Booth project and how did you become involved?
Today I'm painting some shipping containers for the Fringe Festival and Bank Australia. Fringe Festival originally approached me, telling me that they had some shipping containers for ticket booths this year that they're going to install down in City Square. They said that they partnered up with Bank Australia and were after something to brighten up and liven up the shipping containers. They wanted to make it really appealing and attractive to people. They wanted to commission an artist that actually was able to combine Bank Australia and Fringe Festival and make it into one.
How are you bringing this work to life?
We're painting the shipping containers using spray paint predominantly, or entirely spray paint. There's a corrugation, and it's really difficult to get in there with brushes and rollers. It's also a lot faster and easier just to use spray. A lot of the design has gradients and effects in it which we can create using spray paint. The inspiration for the design came from Bank Australia and Fringe Festival. They're both quite different brands, but I use a lot of abstract shapes in my work anyway, and so I was able to just pick and choose bits and pieces from each and then combine them and introduce my own stylized kind of elements in there as well.
Why is this a special project to you?
I'm actually really happy that Bank Australia and Fringe Festival were excited about the design that I did for this. I really like color, and I really like using lots of bright color and lots of movement. Sometimes clients get a little bit scared of that. They don't want something so energetic, but Bank Australia and Fringe Festival really encouraged the use of color. They really wanted something engaging, and so they were really excited when I sent them through the designs, which was great.
I love the idea of a bank supporting an art festival. I think that it really encourages creativity, and creativity is something really important in our society. I think that if we have a really static society then it's a bit dull and lifeless, and culture is at a bit of a loss. If a bank can support the arts, then it actually really enriches society, and it really encourages creativity. That's a really diverse and rich culture I think.
What does Melbourne Fringe Festival mean to you?
I've been involved in Fringe Festival in one way or another for the past three years. The first year, I did an installation work and I was involved in Fringe Furniture. This second year, I was a part of their keynote called Uncommon Places. I was one of the artists that installed artwork in a really uncommon place. It was at the South Melbourne Markets. Then this year the Fringe Festival actually approached me and said, "Do you want to paint some shipping containers for you?" And I said, "Yes, of course. I'd love to."
We were able to capture some of George's artistic process during this work - visit Bank Australia on Facebook to see the video of George bringing this unique work to life.