Sometimes I think I travel around this wonderful city with my eyes closed! I know many of you wouldn't agree but let me explain. I first saw the work of the late New York street artist Keith Haring (1958-1990) at an exhibition at the now Australian Centre of Contemporary Art (ACCA) way back in 1984 - probably before some of you readers were born!
|The 'rusty' ACCA building, with the Malthouse Theatre on the right and the Yellow Peril in the background|
Whilst in Melbourne he painted a mural on a wall of the old Collingwood Technical School. Over the years much has been written about it falling into decay and sadly being 'tagged' by 'graffiti' artists (who obviously have no respect - or perhaps - knowledge of this street artist icon). I kept promising myself that I would find it and just never got around to it! Until today! And it's not far away!
|Look at the size of the television (top left!) The Haring signature 'people'|
Finally the State Government and our local council agreed that it should be restored - a mere 30 years after it was completed. Although the mural has lost much of its colour it still retains the spontenaety that is so well known with all Haring's work.
You will find The Keith Haring Mural (see background story and Keith painting it here) at 35 Johnston Street, Collingwood (between Wellington and Smith Streets - west of Punt Road. Now I must have passed it 100's of times and although driving must have had my eyes dangerously closed! It now graces the wall of the new home of Circus Oz. It seems the perfect welcome as each of the figures could be doing circus tricks!
|The Haring 'people' showing Circus Oz how it is done!|
So if you happen to be passing then do stop and enjoy the fact that the mural - although faded - is a rare beast - it's one of only 31 known Haring Murals still in existence.
Oh and incidentally - if you're wandering along St Kilda Road near Princes Bridge in the Arts Precinct look out for the Wirth's Circus Mosaic. The mosaic was completed in 1998 to celebrate 150 years of circus performances in this city. Perhaps it was one of the inspirations for Circus Oz whose big tent is currently errected at Birrarung Marr near Federation Square.
As the Huffington Post stated "There are few things in this world more smile-inducing than a Keith Haring mural". I've left a book of his work in the Cottage 'library'. Don't miss it - as I have for years!
Bowen Cottage client comment: Outstanding property to stay at - very homey feel and great location