Many Canberrans used the initial pandemic lockdown as an opportunity to get creative, especially when it came to home renovations, including bringing street art to the backyard.
Among them was Fraser resident, Olga, who used the initial lockdown period to transform her ageing, ugly backyard shed into a colourful and bright birdlife mural.
Olga said this piece of home art helped her to deal with the stresses of the pandemic, especially the “really scary” beginning.
“It (home) is like a sanctuary to me,” she said.
“I just wanted to have positive things happening around me.”
Her backyard mural was a collaboration with Canberra street artist, painter and signwriter of 25 years, Kurt.
His humble beginnings painting murals on DJ stages, for free, grew into his company, Stylized Impact, whose street art has brought colour and vibrancy to the Canberra city for the last 14 years.
His mural art has been painted over existing vandalised and messy assets such as Actew substation boxes, government depots, sports sheds and toilet blocks as he aimed to create an interesting street art gallery for the public to enjoy.
The two Fraser residents met when Kurt, afraid of potential damage to his business from coronavirus restrictions, advertised online for in home murals.
He needn’t have worried.
“I thought it was going to be tough because everyone was freaking out,” he said. “But it was the opposite; I got plenty of work and even got a grant from the government.”
Already a big fan of Kurt’s work, Olga was very excited to work with him on the design process.
“I like bright, so initially I wanted the shed painted like a house and transformed into a cottage,” Olga said.
“But Kurt had a different idea and I trusted him.”
While some of the fear of the pandemic has eased, Olga still feels warmth and happiness from the finished product and plans on expanding her backyard street art with a complementary mural along her side fence.
“I’m doing up my whole place, I want a beautiful garden,” she said.
“It was just a grey boring shed, but Kurt spent a lot of time preparing the surface and painting it in the cold.
“I love bright things. I love lots of colour.
“It’s gorgeous and I’m so proud of it, it lifts people’s spirits,” Olga smiled.