Melbourne stencil artist, and two time winner of the Stencil Art Prize, Ralf Kempken, has been using his city’s architecture as a canvas. Kempken was recently commissioned to create a 45metre long mural artwork along the rear of Dimmey’s Building in Melbourne Australia, which faces a rail line.
The Dimmeys Building boasts a long and rich history as one of Melbourne’s most illustrious landmarks. The aim of the commission was to explore the themes of the buildings historical significance and architectural importance as ‘the exemplar of architecture in the 20th Century’.
Kempken’s signature theme involving “people who screen and frame their own personal views of the world through personal experience and memories” is prominent in the mural. His work on the Dimmeys building is as ambitious as it is big. Consisting of 72 aluminium sheets, each measuring at almost 5 meters in height and altogether spanning 45 meters across the rear side of the Dimmeys building facing the Cremorne rail line.
Kempken’s artwork is a snapshot of Richmond’s long history with the image depicting Richmond School children dating from the early 20th Century, overlaid with contemporary images of children’s eyes depicting various racial backgrounds.
It is a commentary on the change the suburb has undergone in relation to immigration and multiculturalism. The image has vertical lines mimicking the appearance of corrugated iron, a call harkening back to the days of depression where many picket and paling fences were torn down for firewood and later replaced with corrugated iron. Ralf Kempken has some site-specific stencil works and numerous commissions.
For example you will find some of Kempken’s work at the West Footscray Railway Station or on the bridge pylons of Sunshine Victoria as part of the Regional Railway Project. His latest work will be on display at Hawthorn Studio and Gallery in a solo exhibition titled perspectives from Saturday the 16 May to the 6 of June. Read more here.