A blank wall at the back of Ripley Arcade is the latest space to undergo a colourful transformation as local artist Aileen Costales-Clarke begins working on her mural ‘Beauty Empowerment’. The latest mural is part of the Mount Gambier City Council’s Creative Arts Fund program.
The former fashion designer enjoys illustrating as a hobby and is in the process of painting one of her unique and modern creations in life size on the plain wall. “This is an amazing opportunity to bring one of my designs to life and really bring some visual impact to the space to empower women,” Ms Costales-Clarke said.
“I remember going on a graffiti artwork tour in Melbourne many years ago now and that’s where I first saw fashion style graffiti artworks. It really inspired me and I am so thrilled to be redefining what is typically seen as graffiti art here in Mount Gambier.”
With the help of her husband and fellow artist Justin Clarke, Ms Costales-Clarke has completed the outline of the design to ensure correct proportions and is currently hand painting the base colours as a foundation. “I’ll start working on her face soon which is often the hardest part and the most amount of work,” she said.
“It’s important to get the gradient colours right. Once that happens, I can relax and enjoy the process.” Using the experience she gained when designing and painting a similar mural at Mount Gambier Marketplace, Ms Costales-Clarke aims to beautify the central business district with a striking, modern artwork to create interest for the local community and visitors.
“I really would love to inspire the young ones that have not been exposed to city art,” she said. “I’d love for them to see that a local artist can do this well and hit them with the beauty of the fashion design.” Council’s Arts, Culture and Development Officer Serena Wong said the Creative Arts Fund program encouraged projects that make a positive contribution to art and culture in the city.
“The Creative Arts Fund is focused on enabling artists to activate public spaces and really bring people together, encourage interaction and promote a sense of community,” she said. “We’re really starting to see a city brought to life with public art.”