Running from April 5 – 13, PUBLIC: Art In The City sees 45 artists engage in large-scale urban works, transforming blank walls into beautiful murals to generally inject some much-needed magic into the Perth streetscape. We caught up with renowned artist Lucas Grogan, who will be participating.
“My first mural came about when I was approached by Movida on Hosier Lane in Melbourne to paint their facade as I was exhibiting in a gallery nearby.” Lucas Grogan recalls. “Since then murals have become a big part of my practice that offer a great balance to the needlepoint embroidered quilts and tapestries I make, which take an extremely long time to make, generally over a year or so.”
It’s easy to conjecture that’s the reason why Grogan leaped at the chance to be a part of PUBLIC: Art In The City. “I was approached to be apart of PUBLIC by the curator, Andrew Nicholls. I thought it sounded like a really great idea and I’m particularly excited about my mural for Foundation Housing.”
Asked about what he feels most influences his style, which draws on Indigenous art traditions as well as Islamic motifs, he answers, “So many things… I’m particularly interested in patterns from lots of different sources. Right now I’m looking a lot at the work of Augustin Lesage, Dorothy Iannone and Grayson Perry. Blue and white patterned surfaces and environments, of course, are a big reoccurring theme for me. Also whenever I use text in any of my murals it’s always sourced from something someone has said to me whilst in site.”
Public murals present an interesting dilemma for the practising artist, as by their very nature they are more vulnerable to change, damage and even erasure than perhaps any other medium or form. However, Grogan feels that community reactions to such work can go a long way to ensuring their longevity. “Well, there are some spaces where you go in knowing full well that whatever you create will only last a few months at best. But there are options to put a protective coating over works if you decide it’s worth securing. Once I feel like the work has been completed I find it’s best to step back and let that work do what it will and let the people in the area engage with it as they like. What I’ve found previously is that the community in the immediate vicinity become really involved throughout the process of creating it, checking in each day and when it’s completed feel a sense of ownership and pride for the mural. This is a really awesome feeling.”
For full details on PUBLIC: Art In The City, including information on public works, pop up venues and installations head here.