Watch Australia’s most highly awarded pavement artist, Jenny McCracken and Dutch internet sensation Leon Keer create an incredible 3D artwork on the forecourt of Custom’s House as part of the eighth annual Chalk Urban Art Festival. This is Australia’s largest ever 3D chalk artwork – a whopping 350 square metres!
See the work come to life in these behind the scenes images:
From Italy to Circular Quay
Those who are tempted to associate the practice with viral emails may be surprised to learn that the practice has its roots in a small medieval town in northern Italy.
For 40 years, the town of Grazie di Curtatone has hosted a festival which tempts more than 150,000 spectators to its quiet 1000-person township. The Incontro Nazionale dei Madonnari festival is the largest pavement art competition in the world that draws artists from around the world to vie for the title of Maestro Madonnari. The title ‘Madonnari’ stems from a long tradition of medieval Italian artists who painted images of Madonna on the street. Drawing on its religious roots – the festival is held each year on 15 August to celebrate the Assumption of Mary – the artworks must contain religious themes and be completed in 24 hours.
In 2012, Jenny McCracken became the first Australian to win the coveted title. She is also a former finalist in the Moran Portrait Prize and a two-time winner of Sydney’s Chalk Urban Art Festival, as well as an accomplished theatre set designer. McCracken says:
It takes a lot of skill and stamina to create a chalk art work of this size. It will be physically and mentally challenging but it is a wonderful opportunity to showcase the fine art of the streets to Australia and the world.
Check out some of what McCracken and Keer have done in the past: