Festival draws talented street artists

Noted Melbourne street artist Rone was one of several to create art work at the weekend in Wollongong as part of the festival Wonderwalls.

Rone, whose gallery works have earned a lucrative following among private collectors, said he favoured painting on walls in great locations where he was given free range to paint what he pleased.

He favours beautiful female faces and has painted them on walls in San Francisco, Hawaii, London and on a series of celebrated walls around the neighbourhoods of Melbourne.

"It sounded more interesting than painting another wall in Fitzroy," he said, of the invitation to paint in Wollongong.

"I love the idea of doing something for the community that's appreciated and of being able to paint alongside some great artists."

The 32-year-old has been contributing to Melbourne's flourishing street art scene for more than 10 years but confessed he still grew nervous at the start of a new work, which begins with a series of measurements and a faint outline aimed at ensuring the correct proportions.

He encouraged aspiring Illawarra street artists to "knock and ask" about painting on public or privately owned walls, and to collaborate with one another.

"The more you paint, the more others paint. That's what we saw in Melbourne - a select few painting, and that inspired a lot of other people."

Rone and other artists - Meggs, Yok, Sheryo, Beastman, Phibs, Numskull and Roach - were invited to Wollongong by graphic design and events business Verb Syndicate and artists' group The Hours, in a bid to raise appreciation for street art and give budding artists the opportunity to learn from national masters.

Other sites painted during the festival include the side of a laundrette on Court Lane, the former Otis Bar site on the Princes Highway and Wollongong's Youth Centre wall.

See thehours.com.au/wonderwalls for all locations.

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