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Shoppo mural: "A reflection for your self-concious"

COLOURFUL: Kade Valja is in the process of painting a mural in the Grafton Shoppingworld car park.
COLOURFUL: Kade Valja is in the process of painting a mural in the Grafton Shoppingworld car park. Caitlan Charles

KADE Valja's latest mural in the Grafton Shoppingworld car park is all about you.

The artist's work has moved away from graffiti and into a more organic style which has helped influence his mural.

"It's sort of a reflection for your self-concious," he said.

"I'm painting something on the wall, but it's a painting of nothing... that way everyone sees something completely different."

He said reactions so far had been positive.

"I really like kids the best because they've got the most active imaginations. They've been coming past seeing all these things that I couldn't possibly see.

"It's all about the observer, not the work."

The colours in the mural are all a reflection of what Kade admires about Grafton.

"The colours are all from the flowering trees around Grafton that I admire," Kade said.

"They asked me to write down what my favourite bright thing was about Grafton... so there are references to poinciana the native acacias as well as the jacarandas, of course."

Kade Valja and Matthew Brydon's gallery carpark mural detail.
Kade Valja and Matthew Brydon's gallery carpark mural detail.

The mural is both Kade's first Plunge artwork and the biggest canvas he's ever worked with.

"It's awesome," he said. "Especially being a local boy as well."

"(The festival) is so necessary."

Kade said the festival gave young artists like himself the opportunity to do art on a scale they may not otherwise have been able to.

Painting the mural in the car park has helped Kade feel more connected to the community outside of his studio.

"It's good, especially down here, I'm a pretty anxious person and I feel kind of at home here now," he said.

"Before I felt quite alienated, I would never have thought they would want my work on the wall, that's for sure."

Kade said the mural was a great opportunity to get out into the community and meet new people and catch up with old friends.

"(I've seen) heaps of friends and people I haven't seen in a long time," he said.

Kade was asked to complete the work by the Grafton Regional Gallery and Grafton Shoppingworld.

His last day working on the mural is today. You can find his mural in the main carpark behind The Link.

>> PREVIOUS STORY: Grafton's street art movement is turning heads

PLEIN AIR: Kade Valja flanks one of his landscape paintings on the Grafton Bridge.
PLEIN AIR: Kade Valja flanks one of his landscape paintings on the Grafton Bridge. Adam Hourigan

Topics:  clarence valley council graffiti grafton shoppingworld kade valja mural plunge festival


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