multimedia, photos-and-video, Walk the Walls, Cronulla, Tim 'Phibbs', November 2019, Caringbah 2018
The smell of paint wafted through the air as the Walk the Walls festival got off to a bright start in Cronulla, A steady stream of people checked out the street art on Friday morning despite heavy traffic and scarce parking, with hot weather also drawing many people to the beach. Unlike the previous Caringbah festival, the works are more spread out and it appears it will be harder to create a similar atmosphere. The Bearded Brothers, with their music, dancing and mobile street stall, helped the vibe at Caringbah, but they are not at Cronulla. However, the atmosphere is sure to lift at night and when crowds descend on the area on Saturday and Sunday. Rod Adams, who was painting a series of rainbow lorikeets in Surf Lane said there was already "a lot of interest". "People seem pretty keen and say they will be back to see the final result," he said. Nick Fintan, who was painting plants on the wall - "at least that's the plan" - behind the IGA supermarket, said he had received a lot of positive comments. Sophi Odling, whose mural in Surf Lane is of "a girl explorer and the remnants of her travels", said there were "heaps of people around" on Friday morning. Cronulla resident Gabriela Krejci, who was checking out the murals with her son Sebastian, three, said, "I really like the colours. It makes the area more vibrant and covers up the graffiti". Merrilee Hayes said, "The artists are very talented. They are brightening up the place and creating good vibes". Cronulla MP and Attorney-General Mark Speakman said it was a "fantastic" event. "For a fairly modest outlay of $75,000 [the state government's contribution], 40 walls are being painted, which is not just great fun but will also leave a lasting good impression for Cronulla," he said. "It lifts the whole tone of the place. We are getting rid of grungy graffiti and replacing it with an outdoor art gallery. "All the passers-by like it, no matter their age or background - not just young hipsters, but seniors are impressed, too." .