“I said I’m looking to paint a mural because I’ve never painted one before and Vandal said great; we have a wall.”
Sydney artist Aley Wild has just completed the latest addition to Redfern’s thriving north-west corner with the local community involved from the get-go.
“I then reached out to a paint company called Permaplastik and got some paint sponsorship and support which I’m very grateful for,” said Aley. “I did the sketch on my iPad and borrowed a digital projector from a local bar, Knox Bar, shout out to Bjorn, and I went at night and projected.”
“I actually had to do it in sections; it was a narrow alley and I couldn’t get far enough to project the entire image so I chopped the mural into six chunks, projected each portion onto the wall, traced it in chalk and then I waited until the daytime and started painting.”
Completed over a week, Aley has also recently developed works for sustainability-focused platform Everpress and social enterprise Hey Tiger’s holiday campaigns.
“The mural is based on a drawing I did a while ago where I was imagining my ideal emotional support animal which was a really fluffy big lion I could lie on with a fluffy pompom head who’s really happy,” said Aley. “The other symbolism is related to a theme which I have been dealing with a lot in my art and in my personal life this past year which is surrender; that’s where the giant jellyfish floating above the woman and the lion come from.”
“The butterflies I painted have two sets of eyes – one of the sets of eyes is closed and one of the sets is open representing awareness and the journey towards it and how there are different fluxes of awareness.”
Sandwiched between two major local intersections, Aley’s mural can be found adjacent to Redfern’s Wild Flour, local artist Gemma O’Brien’s studio, murals by Apeseven & Boris Biberdzic, Calico and of course Vandal’s gallery space.
“I feel wonderful, I’m so used to working in a sketchbook and looking at my work on an iPad or computer screen, it feels really great to see it on a wall and on a large scale and I feel proud of that,” said Aley. “People are reacting really positively; I found the whole experience to be a great way to get to know the people in the neighbourhood.”
“Some people who work at Wild Flour and a lot of the people who work at Vandal or who live in the alleyway came out and had a conversation. A lot of people who walked through the alley every day would check up on me and the progress – Laurence who works at Wild Flour said he liked that Aley Wild was painting in the alley next to Wild Flour.”