Australian artist Andrew Dennis (formerly known as Jumbo) has just finished a new mural that lets Sydney residents take in art while doing their shopping.
The massive mural is located on the rooftop of the Marrickville Metro, right where every shopper can see it. The vibrant image features Dennis’ trademark motifs and bright colour combinations, turning what was once an ordinary parking lot wall into a delightful visual experience.
Dennis has been working as a commercial artist, illustrator, and sign maker, for the last decade. His diverse style – which combines graffiti and skate culture with low-brow comic art and modern art – has netted him clients such as Absolut, Billabong, Dell, and now, Marrickville Metro.
CreativeRoad described his art perfectly: “One of Sydney’s most prolific street artists, Dennis’ graphic, brightly coloured and geometrically patterned artworks conjure up curious scenes from abstract dreamscapes and kaleidoscopic natural environments.”
In this quick interview, Dennis talks about his work with Marrickville Metro, as well as the thriving street art scene in Sydney.
How did this opportunity at Marrickville Metro come about?
“I’ve been painting murals for over 10 years and the people at Marrickville Metro approached me after seeing some of my artwork, and I saw it as a good opportunity to put some of the artwork that I do in front of unsuspecting shoppers!”
How do you approach a commission of this scale?
“I made a number of proposal drawings that related to the history of the building which were changed around so that it became more about my style of art with giant flowers and botanical elements that would lend themselves to being sized up on that scale.
“That turned out to be a good thing because it made me work in a more intuitive way that’s in tune with the way I think.”
You live in Newtown. How does the neighbourhood affect your approach to/outlook on your art?
“Ah yes, I can’t think of anywhere I would rather be in this city. It’s consistently interesting on a street level and there is a great community vibe going on. I have kids so they go to the schools here which is cool as we have other friends doing the same thing. I get inspired by being in a positively progressive environment which best describes the inner-west.”
What do you hope to achieve with this large mural work?
“There’s no grand plan with the artwork that I do I want to reach a big audience so that the positive vibes are being communicated across to as many people as possible because a lot of the time that is what people respond to me with. So I feel that is all I need to do is keep it going and see what happens.
“I also like the idea of changing an area to make it more engaging to walk past and that is a simple result of having paint on the wall surface to elicit a reaction from people.”