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Melbourne Now countdown – day 1

On the eve of the opening of Melbourne Now I have butterflies. Not because I am an exhibiting artist about to celebrate with everyone involved in this extravaganza, but because I am about to create a large-scale billboard painting intervention in public view on the wall of the NGV itself.

Back on September 6, I received an email from Simon Maidment, NGV Curator of Contemporary art, passing on a request from the marketing department. Simon told me that they were interested in one of the artists from Melbourne Now doing an intervention onto one of the NGV billboard sites, of which I immediately expressed interest in.

Soon after on September 17 I received an email from the Head of Marketing, Jane Zantuck, stating ‘We’d absolutely love it if you could! The concept is that we install a blank billboard banner and leave it up for a week to create intrigue. Then we arrange for you to create your work in front of the public. This would be a first for the NGV and we think it has great potential to really engage and excite people as well as look incredible!’

I jumped on board the opportunity, and the last two months of organising this project alongside Marketing Officer, Lily Mora, has been a most wonderful experience. It certainly didn’t take long to secure generous support from Dulux and Visual Exposure to make the project possible.

Checking the weather the past week has been a little unnerving. Melbourne’s weather these days is erratic as ever. Nevertheless it looks like the chance of showers on Friday morning is slim and the wind forecast is looking calm.

Come down to the NGV from 6:30am through to around 11:30am as I paint the NGV International North Wall banner with paint filled fire extinguishers, the ready-made painting tool of which I first experimented with in Melbourne in 2004.

My chosen color palette includes varying shades of pinks, purples, oranges, reds, yellows, ochre’s and grey’s. These are colours chosen from aspects of the Australian landscape and it’s varied sky tones at dawn and dusk.  In layering and merging these colours with one another, I will create a dynamic abstract composition.

From the ground up, paint will be sprayed into the air from the extinguishers like a colourful fireworks display, celebrating the opening of the doors to Melbourne Now at 10am.

Through public performance, onlookers will be able to see the process and development of the painting unfold in front of their eyes.