Silly Pear conducts Black Gully Festival workshop

A graffiti workshop at the Black Gully festival in Armidale last month has inspired the artist involved to look for a site in Walcha.

Every year in November, New England folk gather at Black Gully (behind the New England Regional Art Museum) to celebrate community, music and biodiversity. This year the Armidale Regional Council asked Charlie Nivison to conduct a graffiti art workshop for youth during the festival.

“It was a great  opportunity, and we started the weekend off by getting together a group of local kids aged between 10 and 22 years-of-age to do a workshop, and I showed them techniques of how to get stuck into large-scale artworks and then during the next few days I completed the mural we had started during the workshop,” Mr Nivison said. 

“Dad came and gave me a hand too which was nice. I'm super stoked with how it came out especially the workshop part which is the section inside the television.”

Mr Nivison is no stranger to large-scale artwork – his father is internationally renowned Walcha artist Angus Nivison who creates massive works, drawing inspiration from the Australian landscape. Angus Nivison won the Wynne Prize in 2002 for his large-scale polyptych 'Remembering rain', and four of his works are in the permanent collection of the Art Gallery of NSW.

Charlie Nivison has been a professional artist since 2012.

“I've always been been drawing and painting,” he said.

“I really started doing it as a profession when I was travelling in Canada doing works for skate and surf shops and a small skate brand from Montreal.”

In recent years Mr Nivison has been working for a screen printing company but he is now focused solely on his own creative company ‘Silly Pear’ and between that and freelance projects he says he has been kept busier than ever.

“I've been doing a bit of everything -murals and tee shirt designs and a few wine labels,” he said.

”I've just gone full-time art at the  moment which is super fun but a bit scary at the same time. I'm hoping to get involved with more and more rural communities in 2018 and bring some colour to the country.”

Mr Nivison was born and raised in Walcha and though he now lives in Sydney, he is keen to enhance Walcha’s outdoor gallery by adding some graffiti art to an unused wall.

“I'd love to paint a large wall in Walcha, it’s such a great community with public art but mostly sculptures at the moment so hopefully in the future I can come back home to Walcha and add to the public art scene with a mural,” he said.

“I’m speaking with Council to locate a suitable site.”

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