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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Concrete Playground Talks to Street Artist Baby Guerilla

Concrete Playground talks to Melbourne street artist Baby Guerilla about her catchy alias, latest work and what art means to her.

By Amy Collins
December 06, 2012
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Concrete Playground Talks to Street Artist Baby Guerilla

Concrete Playground talks to Melbourne street artist Baby Guerilla about her catchy alias, latest work and what art means to her.

By Amy Collins
December 06, 2012
  shares

Concrete Playground talks to Melbourne street artist Baby Guerilla about her catchy alias, latest work and what art means to her. At the unveiling of her newest commission at Union Dining, Baby Guerilla summed up her take on art in one sentence, "I want more art everywhere". Baby Guerilla works purely for the love of art and the hope that she can inspire others in what she does.

Why the name Baby Guerilla? It's the name my dad used to call me, my nickname. It was his running joke that I couldn't be domesticated; couldn't be tamed. It was his way of showing affection. It is exactly who I am. I changed the spelling to reflect the political component of street art. It also keeps my identity hidden.

Tell me about how you have come to be the artist you are today. I guess I always wanted to be an artist ever since I was young. I went to the Victorian Collage of the Arts and studied fine arts with a major in painting.

I've exhibited pretty widely, had pieces in the National Gallery of NSW had solo shows. Street art started out as a hobby for me, kind of my second life. Then I started to become more experienced, I got bolder. I love art in whatever form. But at the moment I'm obsessed with street art and doing large-scale murals. I still love galleries and I know at some point in my career I'll go back. But for the moment there is still a lot I'd like to do outside.

What is your creative process and who's your audience? Ideas often come to me when I'm listening to music, out walking the dog. It feels like the scene in Billy Elliot, when he is jumping on the bed? That's how I feel.

I like street art, as it's a great leveler. It comments on the type of society we live in. We are often powerless as we are surrounded by billboards and advertising. I love that you don't need to have money to have a voice with street art.

How would you describe your work to someone who had never seen it before? I think it's detailed and probably a bit surreal. I've been told its feminine; which I would probably agree with.

What motivates and inspires you? I'm motivated to always try to be better. I want to inspire people. Put something out there in the world to share with other people. I'm always inspired by others and at the moment it's instillation artist Anish Kapoor. The internet has also made it easier to connect with other artists and inspire each other across the world.

How does your work fit into the broader context of Melbourne's street art scene? I think there is a renaissance in street art at the moment. It's such a diverse scene. So many different motivations and sub cultures. Anything you say; the opposite is also true. Lots of people love it and follow it and that's exactly what artists want. It's incredible and exciting and encouraging. I don't know exactly how I fit into it. I just do.

I think street art is a brilliant way of testing an idea. You do something a couple of times on the street you get better at it. It's a great way to practice. A lot of people say what can you do to help street artists? I think you just have to go out and do it.

Your latest work was a site-specific piece commissioned by Union Dining for a space on their terrace wall. What's this work about? It is somewhat of a self-portrait. The eagle represents life and the journey that we go on. The force of nature. It can fuel the best and the worst of life. It can be so beautiful, and cruel at the same time.

Where to now for Baby Guerilla? I want to continue doing large-scale public art work and I want to incorporate more colour so I'm working out the logistics for that. My focus has changed a little bit from street art to commissioned large-scale pieces. You can do a better job if it's commissioned. They take time and machinery.

Images courtesy of and all rights reserved by artist.

Published on December 06, 2012 by Amy Collins

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