27 Sep 2013
He has until lunchtime Friday to finish the first of the Big Walls aspect of the Oi You! project, but Australian street artist Vans the Omega is confident that time is on his side.
Working with the theme of time and the aid of a cherry picker, the artist is spray-painting a large wall at CPIT next to the Art & Design building on Madras St. “I’ve got enough time to do it right... I will know when I am closing in to an endpoint. It’s only done when it’s done,” he says.
It’s not the biggest wall he’s painted but it “has its challenges”, he says “because of the space and the tightness”.
“Using the [cherry]pickers obviously can be very slow and moving a bit at a snail’s pace, just to get the momentum of movement around this building.
“A lot of the time I can’t turn the basket so I am front on to the wall, so I am twisted at funny angles. You’re problem solving and your body is problem solving, so it’s a real workout.”
As he works, high up in the air, Vans the Omega is thinking about time and taking inspiration from his surroundings. “I don’t have any drawn plan so it is coming off the top of my head, but I get a lot of feedback from the wall, the space, the environment, people who come past, what’s happening at the time. I try to remain open and be a little bit of a conduit of what’s happening around the place, so it works a little bit more organically that way. I don’t like to feel rigid or stuck into a plan.”
Vans the Omega’s work kicks off the Oi You! Project, which culminates in the Oi YOU! Collection – the southern hemisphere’s most comprehensive collection of artwork by internationally recognised street artists, including 22 works by Banksy – at the Canterbury Museum from 20 December.
The wall is the first of 10 to be transformed around the city by local and international artists from bleakness to vibrancy as part of the project. CPIT is also involved in the Oi You! Art for All series of events and activities to be run later this year.