Subiaco apartments get a splash of Spanish colour


Internationally celebrated Spanish street artist Okuda San Miguel has started work on his mural in Subiaco's 'Paint Subi' art project.

San Miguel's brightly coloured, geometric murals are famous the world over, often focusing on animals, modernity, and transforming urban spaces.

He's been at work only a day and already the images on a four-storey apartment block in central Subi are breathtaking.

"In this case the inspiration came from the country, I took animals from here and introduced my personal landscape," he said.

"Normally my themes and concepts with animals and humans, I put animals and humans in the same level in the natural environment."

The heat doesn't phase the Spanish painter, although yesterday a paint roller melted from contact with the hot wall.

To beat the heat, he and his team have adopted a schedule which keeps them cool and gives them a chance to check out one of Perth's biggest draw cards.

"We start at 7, go til 12, have lunch at the beach, start again at 4 then go again til 7 while we have shade on the wall," he said.

The mural will take up two wall spaces on the wall of a Forrest Walk apartment block, and already residents can be seen peeking over the edge to check on progress.

The work already features a bright, starry-eyed koala with outlines for a kangaroo.

"For me this format is small, normally I paint 10 or 20 floor buildings, this is very comfortable, I'm enjoying it."

"Hopefully 2 days more, maybe finish on Saturday or Sunday."

The project is part of a week-long event which sees Okuda San Miguel, Dominican-born American artist Evoque, and local muralists Sioux Tempestt and Hayley Welsh tackle blank walls all over Subiaco.

Subiaco Mayor Penny Taylor said bringing public art to the streets makes it part of everyday life.

"It enhances ordinary experiences and makes creativity part of the daily routine," she said.

"Street art enriches the everyday walk to school, work or the grocery shop and this all adds to what makes our community great."

City of Subiaco Public Art Officer Kristy Gough said there's a lot going on in Subiaco this weekend, including events designed to get kids and the public interacting with the art spaces.

"On Saturday morning Haley Welsh will be doing a kids workshop, kids will be able to come down and paint on the mural, and she'll show them how she draws her monsters."

"We're hoping to revitalise the town centre, provide a new injection of colour and life to walls that are singing out for a bit of extra love and care."

For Okuda San Miguel the most important thing is that the work makes people happy.

"We change the places, transform the grey cement in a more positive way, and of course, change the people that live there."

"My paintings are very positive, the people that live there feel it and after we finish they'll feel it more."

This story Subiaco apartments get a splash of Spanish colour first appeared on WA Today.