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Shades of Subiaco-Arty Brellas tell the story of by gone days …

Tricia Stedman, artist and creator of the innovative art workshops called 'Arty Brellas' (which Tricia conducts across WA and the Eastern States) was commissioned to paint a mural featuring her ‘Arty Brellas’. The mural was commissioned by art entrepreneur Mr Kevin Jackson to ‘dress up’ the recently renovated commercial building which has housed Jackson's Drawing Supplies from the early 1960s. The end result is a stunningly beautiful, historically significant public artwork which was unveiled on 29 November.

The local council asked that the mural focus on an historical theme in recognition of the ‘rose gardens’ that, in 1960s & ‘70s graced the mall adjacent Jackson’s art shop. Tricia ‘married’ this idea with her painted umbrellas and conducted a series of ‘rose themed’ drawing workshops with the children from the local Primary School. The children were then asked to each paint an Arty Brella with images of roses; images of the historically significant building; and images of the council gardener who, in days long past, would knock on the Art shop window and pass fresh bunches of roses to the ladies who worked in the shop.
Following the workshops, Tricia invested thousands of hours lovingly and painstakingly painting a 3.1 x 1.5 metre mural which features the 24 children holding 31 ‘rose’ themed Arty Brellas. Tricia is very proud of her achievement in completing such a large masterpiece and she was thrilled too, that Kevin Jackson … ‘Gave the painting his blessing’!

Tricia painted on fibre cement sheeting and used Jo Sonja Artist Acrylics exclusively, “…It is wonderful to have used Jo Sonja acrylics”, Tricia said. “They were particularly suitable for this challenging painting as they have such a high ASTM rating. This was an important consideration as the finished art work will be in full sun for several hours each day. The Jo Sonja colours have a fabulous vibrancy and with the application of the gloss anti-graffiti coating, there is an almost ceramic glaze quality to the overall finish of the artwork. It’s intensely bright and colourful...”

On the day of the unveiling as the curtains were peeled away there was an audible gasp of excitement and wonder as the 3.1 metre painting came into full view! The school children and their parents were thrilled with their portraits and they were delighted to have had the opportunity to be a part of such an exciting and historically significant art project.

Chroma Sales Manager Tony Hirst travelled to Western Australia specifically for the unveiling. He thought that the mural was really well crafted and that the idea of painting the Subiaco school children amongst beautiful painted umbrellas would be a talking point and be enjoyed for many years to come. ..............“Children grow up quickly, as we all know. In years to come this mural become a special memento for the Subiaco community and participating children, giving them a great deal of fun as they flourish into adult life.”
It was great that Kevin Jackson, the mural sponsor, gave the opening address. He embellished his speech by referring to his personal connection with roses. This made for a really well done, entertaining unveiling. Thanks to many people who were involved at the ceremony for the use of their photographs in the article.