An abstract work brings life to the lane

THE PAINTING of Mildura City Heart’s third large-scale mural installation began on Thursday last week and was completed late Sunday afternoon.
The massive work, which has added a bold splash of colour to Eighth Street end of Shillidays Lane just off Eighth Street, is the creation of Scottish born artist Baxter Marcopiacentini, who was commissioned to celebrate everything “work, rest and play”.
Originally from Glasgow Scotland, Baxter who has Italian heritage, has been in Australia for two years on a working holiday visa, with the aim of building his networks in the Melbourne street art scene.
He said the trip to Australia, which has involved two stays in Mildura undertaking farm work, was about meeting as many people as possible.
“I came to Australia just before the beginning of 2019 and I got this job painting the mural by chance,” he said.
“I did farm work in Mildura last year and was walking past as Moose (Terry McGowan) was painting the mural on Ninth Street.
“I asked him how I could get involved with doing something like this, and he said to go and see Danielle at the Mildura City Heart office.”
More than a year later, Baxter is back in Mildura to paint his mural in the City Heart.
He has approached the brief in his own style, his signature bold, bright and colourful design exploring what the CBD means to different people.
“I started doing art from a young age and I think when I took on ‘higher art’ at secondary school I realised I had a creative passion and went to art school and did graphic design for a year and that was a good middle-ground for all of the things that I had an interest in, including street art, illustration and design” Baxter said.
“In Australia the street scene is second-to-none and it’s taken a while, but things are finally getting there.”
Baxter said that he was given free reign with the design of the mural, which he describes as an abstract work.
“I like to create a very bold abstract representational style and I think it’s one of these works that the more you see it, the more you will read into it and discover different things.
“I happy that I have been allowed to push my style and do whatever I want.”
Mildura City Heart manager Danielle Hobbs said each of the three CBD murals highlighted a different aspect of the precinct, its history and its culture.
“We aim to get people thinking about the idea that so many people work, rest and play here in the City Heart, and that’s going to mean something different for everyone,” she said.
Ms Hobbs said the latest addition to the CBD’s street art landscape was a blend of abstract and figurative.
“It’s not immediately accessible like our Mildura mural, people will need to take a moment to look at it and find the details, but that’s the fun of it,” she said.
“It’s important to bring different styles and interpretations of our CBD to life through this project,” she said.
The painting was a team effort, with arts students, Cultivator Inc and community members coming on board to complete the 20-metre wide and 5.3-metre high mural.
Cultivator’s Sophie Cook has been involved with Mildura City Heart’s mural projects from the beginning and said the process was always a rewarding one.
“It’s really nice to see the whole process come to life,” she said. “The best bit is the conversations we have with people who wander past.”
“(The murals) give people a purpose and a reason to explore the nooks and crannies in the CBD that they may not otherwise see.”
The Work, Rest and Play mural is the first to be created and funded by sales of previous mural art posters, which are available from Mildura City Heart.