Meet the artist behind Wollongong's cafe murals

Nicci Bedson at Music Farmers in Crown Lane. Picture: ANDY ZAKELI

Nicci Bedson at Music Farmers in Crown Lane. Picture: ANDY ZAKELI

You might not know her name, but Illawarra culinary connoisseurs probably know her work.

Wollongong artist Nicci Bedson is behind the striking, intricate murals that are slowly colouring the walls of eateries in the city.

Responsible for large art works adorning the walls of Samba Brazil, the Giddy Goat in Keiraville, Delano Coffee, the Little Chimneys cafe at the university and the popular Prince mural at Three Chimneys, Bedson's portfolio makes her one of the Illawarra's most viewed artists.

"Some of those paintings are really layered, almost falling apart. I wanted to pick up on its ghostlike qualities, its history."

"Some of those paintings are really layered, almost falling apart. I wanted to pick up on its ghostlike qualities, its history."

On Friday, she opens her own solo exhibition, For Madmen Only, at Music Farmers.

"Stylistically most of the works tie in with the murals. Most of them could be blown up into a big mural," Bedson, 25, said.

More than 20 smaller pieces dot the walls of the warehouse, arranged in two distinct series. One depicts "the Mansion", the old Church Street manor house of former Regent Theatre cinema owner Rowena Milgrove, which was demolished last year. In recent years the house had been used as a student and creative share house, with Bedson having once lived there.

"I wanted to immortalise my old communal house in painting, capture its texture," she said.

"Some of those paintings are really layered, almost falling apart. I wanted to pick up on its ghostlike qualities, its history."

The second set of paintings are more character-based, reminiscent of her mural work. Inspired by writers including Dostoyevsky and Camus, the long detailed beards and manes of hair and monochrome colours are a stark contrast to the bright colours of the mansion series.

"They were characters I came across in novels or music," she said.

Bedson will paint a mural on the Music Farmers wall during the exhibition's Friday opening. It is open until August 28.

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