An Enormous New Public Artwork From The Artist Who Paints With Fire Extinguishers

Art

On the fringe of the city, near the top of the Merri Creek, an enormous artwork splashed with vivid primary colours has appeared on a newly built tilt-slab warehouse. The painting is by , the celebrated Australian artist known for his large-scale murals, created using fire extinguishers filled with house paint.

A Love Letter To A Very Rocky Creek (Hume Response) is a self-initiated piece, created with no client, no funding and no limitations, and it’s been pivotal to helping this prolific artist fall back in love with his craft.

14th May, 2019

A Love Letter To to a Very Rocky Creek (Hume Response) by Ash Keating. Photo – .

The artist at work. Photo – .

Ash first saw this perfect Craigieburn site while driving back into Melbourne on the Hume Highway. Photo – .

Ash painted in bold primary colours for this piece. Photo – .

The colours recall an early piece Ash created, but had never documented. Photo – .

The unobstructed site is unlikely to meet the same fate as many of Ash’s other works on walls, most of which been knocked down or built up against. Photo – .

Sally Tabart
Tuesday 14th May 2019

Ash craved the freedom that a self-initiated project would allow him – and now he had the perfect wall.

Artist makes the drive to Sydney and back every year. Heading along the Hume Highway into Melbourne, most people wouldn’t have taken much notice of a relatively nondescript warehouse building that belongs to a concrete pumping company on the Craigieburn exit. All Ash could see was the canvas for his next work.

Celebrated in the art world for his large-scale murals that explore colour, movement, and gravity, Ash’s work has featured in major institutions and exhibitions across Australia, including at , , , at the VCA for and  Meat Market in North Melbourne. But after taking on so many commissioned projects over the last few years, Ash craved the freedom that a self-initiated project would allow him – and now he had the perfect wall.

Built facing grassland, the Craigieburn site didn’t run the risk of being knocked down or built up against, like every other wall Ash had painted in Melbourne.

Between 2012 – 2016, Ash painted a series of landscapes on walls that spoke to the rise of development and the loss of the natural world, camouflaging the works back into its surrounds. A Love Letter To to a Very Rocky Creek (Hume Response) in all its bright, burning glory approaches the same idea from a different end of the spectrum. ‘It’s a continuation of that project, but also a contradiction to it’, Ash explains, ‘I’m painting quite bright and outlandish work, and highlighting rather than hiding it’.

In contrast to the often tightly controlled conditions of commissioned projects, Ash wanted to be ‘free to improvise’ while he made this work, and take new paths in his creative process. Completely self funding every element of this personal project (that means buying hundreds of litres of paint, and hiring a scissor lift!) allowed Ash to ‘fall in love with painting again’.

Ash took a trip to Canberra with a graffiti artist friend many years ago, just as he was first getting into painting. He painted the underside of a bridge, first with a 10 litre tin of black paint, and later added bursts of bright blues, yellows and reds over the top. The colours in this new work recall the palette one of the important first works for Ash. ‘It’s almost like a memory of a really dynamic work that was kind of pivotal to me, but there’s no documentation of’, Ash tells, ‘part of the inspiration is this memory of making a work that I knew was interesting but not documented.’

Setting out at sunrise just as the mural was nearing completion, Ash and photographer , an old friend, collaborated on this series of images and video that captured Love Letter To to a Very Rocky Creek (Hume Response) in all its glory.

Love Letter To to a Very Rocky Creek (Hume Response)
by Ash Keating
Visible from the Craigieburn exit on the Hume Highway

This Week

Community

Many Hands Come Together To Support Women From Refugee Backgrounds

Melbourne social enterprise Merchant Road launches a new initiative to improve employment opportunities for women from refugee backgrounds -...
Elle Murrell
  19 hours ago

Interiors

This Renovated Queenslander Is A Workplace That Feels Like Home

When going to work feels like coming home! Interior designer Alexandra MacMillan teams up with Cavill Architects on an inspired new workspac...

Food

Shannon Bennett's Zucchini Tartines With Warm Mustard Sauce

A seriously delicious and super easy vegetarian recipe that Shannon cooks for friends at home.
Shannon Bennett

Dream Job

Preserving Plants Forever At Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria

Not your average photographer, Angharad Johnson gives us an insight into her vital day job as the National Herbarium of Victoria's Digitisin...
Elle Murrell

News

St Agni Put Their Best Foot Forward In Brisbane

An earthy new retail store that connects with the Byron Bay-based brand’s quality, relaxed ethos.

Architecture

Subtropical Modern In Sanctuary Cove

An award-winning home on the water's edge in Sanctuary Cove, south of Brisbane, by Justin Humphrey Architect.
Miriam McGarry
45:53

Podcast

TDF Talks With Blogger + Entrepreneur Courtney Adamo

The much-loved mum-of-five shares her amazing journey, from launching Babyccino Kids more than a decade ago, to her new e-course, 'The Loop'...

Architecture

A New Home Infused With Heritage Character

The Brighton Home by Caisson Architects is a spacious family home that merges modernity with historical context.

Creative People

The Rise Of Tide Design

The Melbourne furniture makers expand their range, handcrafted in their Huntingdale workshop.
Lucy Feagins
  20 hours ago

Homes

A Warrandyte Delight, With Sage And Clare’s Phoebe Bell

The colourful mid-century modern home of Sage and Clare's Phoebe Bell and family.

Architecture

The Spanish Mission House For An Old Amigo!

Kennon Architects create a fresh renovation a 1926 Spanish Mission home for a close friend in Malvern.
Miriam McGarry

News

Explore The Future Of Design Trends At Decor + Design

Australia’s premier design trade show is back for its biggest year yet!
Sponsored

Art

Bright Bursts Of Winter Botanicals In 'Wonderland'

Artist Antoinette Ferwerda takes us through her latest exhibition, celebrating the daily joys of nature.

Travel

Where To Explore, Eat + Unwind In Vibrant Marrakesh

From tranquil riads to bustling cafes, Tigmi Trading's guide to the ochre city at the foothills of the Atlas Mountains.
Danielle McEwan
  4 hours ago

Tiny Homes

Meet The Australians Embracing Vanlife

Three couples take us through their mobile-home renos, the highs and lows of life on the road!
Elle Murrell

Similar Stories

Creative People

The Tools I Use · Adnate, Artist

Matt Adnate is painting the tallest mural in the Southern Hemisphere, on a 20-storey housing estate in Collingwood. Here's how he does it.

Art

Rone's 'Empire' Eclipses All That Came Before

The Collingwood-based artist’s most expansive exhibition, installation and VR experience to date opens to the public next week.
Elle Murrell

Studio Visit

Ash Keating

The Melbourne-based artist exhibits 'Gravity System Response', a collection of 20 vast, vibrant paintings on linen, created in the his Bru...

This Week

News

St Agni Put Their Best Foot Forward In Brisbane

An earthy new retail store that connects with the Byron Bay-based brand’s quality, relaxed ethos.

Interiors

This Renovated Queenslander Is A Workplace That Feels Like Home

When going to work feels like coming home! Interior designer Alexandra MacMillan teams up with Cavill Architects on an inspired new workspac...

Travel

Where To Explore, Eat + Unwind In Vibrant Marrakesh

From tranquil riads to bustling cafes, Tigmi Trading's guide to the ochre city at the foothills of the Atlas Mountains.
Danielle McEwan
  4 hours ago

Architecture

A New Home Infused With Heritage Character

The Brighton Home by Caisson Architects is a spacious family home that merges modernity with historical context.

Community

Many Hands Come Together To Support Women From Refugee Backgrounds

Melbourne social enterprise Merchant Road launches a new initiative to improve employment opportunities for women from refugee backgrounds -...
Elle Murrell
  19 hours ago
45:53

Podcast

TDF Talks With Blogger + Entrepreneur Courtney Adamo

The much-loved mum-of-five shares her amazing journey, from launching Babyccino Kids more than a decade ago, to her new e-course, 'The Loop'...

Creative People

The Rise Of Tide Design

The Melbourne furniture makers expand their range, handcrafted in their Huntingdale workshop.
Lucy Feagins
  20 hours ago

Dream Job

Preserving Plants Forever At Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria

Not your average photographer, Angharad Johnson gives us an insight into her vital day job as the National Herbarium of Victoria's Digitisin...
Elle Murrell

Food

Shannon Bennett's Zucchini Tartines With Warm Mustard Sauce

A seriously delicious and super easy vegetarian recipe that Shannon cooks for friends at home.
Shannon Bennett

Architecture

The Spanish Mission House For An Old Amigo!

Kennon Architects create a fresh renovation a 1926 Spanish Mission home for a close friend in Malvern.
Miriam McGarry

Homes

A Warrandyte Delight, With Sage And Clare’s Phoebe Bell

The colourful mid-century modern home of Sage and Clare's Phoebe Bell and family.

News

Explore The Future Of Design Trends At Decor + Design

Australia’s premier design trade show is back for its biggest year yet!
Sponsored

Art

Bright Bursts Of Winter Botanicals In 'Wonderland'

Artist Antoinette Ferwerda takes us through her latest exhibition, celebrating the daily joys of nature.

Tiny Homes

Meet The Australians Embracing Vanlife

Three couples take us through their mobile-home renos, the highs and lows of life on the road!
Elle Murrell

Architecture

Subtropical Modern In Sanctuary Cove

An award-winning home on the water's edge in Sanctuary Cove, south of Brisbane, by Justin Humphrey Architect.
Miriam McGarry

Similar Stories

Creative People

The Tools I Use · Adnate, Artist

Artist Matt Adnate is painting the tallest mural in the Southern Hemisphere. Here's how he does it.

Art

Rone's 'Empire' Eclipses All That Came Before

The Collingwood-based artist’s most expansive project to date opens to the public next week.
Elle Murrell

Studio Visit

Ash Keating

The Melbourne-based artist exhibits 'Gravity System Response', a collection of 20 vast, vibrant paintings on linen, created in the his Bru...