The Playground bringing joy and colour to Kingsford
08 August, 2017
When Elliott Routledge first laid eyes on the faded purple wall on Strachan Street in Kingsford, a technicolour vision started forming in his mind.
Even a wonky row of drab air-conditioning units and nearby twin brown tables were no deterrent. In fact, they were part of the site’s allure for the internationally-renowned contemporary artist.
“I tend to go with walls that aren’t just a nice clean wall but have lots of other stuff, I kind of like to wrap over everything, I look at it as more of an installation,” he said.
Elliott (aka Numskull) has travelled across Australia and internationally transforming uninspiring spaces into bold, eye-catching works of art.
Some of his most notable public pieces include the seven-storey Here Now mural on Pitt Street and the Nike building on Commonwealth Street, Surry Hills.
(Above) Elliott's seven-storey Here Now mural on the corner of Park Street and Pitt Street in Sydney's CBD.
Over the past two weeks, the Kingsford community has had the opportunity to watch the drab Strachan Street wall morph into one of Elliott’s trademark large-scale murals, creating an exciting new talking piece for this vibrant area.
Titled, The Playground, Elliott created the piece for ArtMoves, a new public art installation that will transform the streets of Kingsford and Kensington by encouraging locals and visitors to explore and use the spaces in new ways.
It’s not hard to see why Elliott chose this lively title, and he hopes adults and children alike will playfully engage with this immersive piece, which spills from the wall to envelop the adjacent walkway and tables.
“Usually that space is a place for people to sit down and occupy, but I want people to see it differently, to interact with it,” he said.
“I’m taking that space and transforming it. I want people to go and enjoy it, walk all over it.
“I really can’t wait to go and see people sitting and eating lunch there and being part of the mural.”
(Above) The Nike building on Elizabeth Street in Surry Hills features one of Elliott's striking murals.
Despite his international success, Elliott said leaving such a bold mark on his home city was particularly gratifying.
“I haven’t done a large scale project like this in Sydney for a while, to do something like this in your own city is really satisfying and I can take my kids and show them, which is really special,” he said.
“I show my son photos of my work but he’ll love this one because I can actually take him there and he can play with it.”
The Playground is the first of seven artworks to be installed at five sites along Anzac Parade in Kingsford and Kensington over the coming months.
For more information on ArtMoves visit: mysydneycbd.nsw.gov.au/artmoves
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