Get to Know Artist George Rose

George Rose is a Melbourne-based visual artist who spends her days travelling across Australia and around the world painting large-scale murals. You can spot her bright, expressive work on almost any surface imaginable – from inner-city walls and shipping containers, to back alleys and art galleries.

In February, we commissioned George and fellow artist Phibs to paint a 30-metre-long mural in one of the fresh food precincts at Watergardens. We recently caught up with George to find out a little more about how the project came together.

How did you and Phibs come up with the concept for this artwork?

The brief was for something that was bright and colourful and related to food. In the initial meeting, someone mentioned tropical fruit and I think my brain just fixated on that word, because tropical is always fun and energetic. We’re at the end of the warmer weather now, which I’m very sad about, so I wanted to reference summery things in there.

Tell us about some of the of the fruits and seafood depicted in the mural?

I painted the dragon fruit, noni fruit and figs, then Phibs worked on the crustaceans [spot the Balmain Bug and prawns]. With my work, I often like to reference the direct local area. So, since this area is very multicultural, I thought it made sense to reference some of the delicious fruit and seafood from Europe and Asia.

What was the process of collaborating and creating this artwork?

We both did individual drawings, then I scanned each image and laid them out on the computer. We chatted about the colours and how we wanted it to look. When it came to actually painting the walls, we were there for about four nights, starting at 5pm and painting until about 3am most nights. Painting at nighttime is actually better for us because when you paint in the day, people often stop by to talk to you – which is nice, but you’re not nearly as productive! At night time, you can really focus.

For our readers who might be interested in street art, what are some of your favourite places to check out around Melbourne?
The city changes really fast so you have to be quick to see things. The inner north is good for big pieces of street art. In Footscray, you’ve got some interesting underground graffiti-style work. The turnover of artwork is so unpredictable, so the best bet is to get on Instagram and follow some of the photographers who keep tabs on local street artists [see below].

George recommends checking out these street art photographers on Instagram:

Check out George’s wonderfully vibrant pink, yellow and green tropical scene next time you’re in the fresh food section, where you can also find: Bakers Delight, Quality Halal Meats, Dumpling Wise, Generation of Health, Super Spice, Home Explorer, Kelly’s Deli, NewsXpress, The Coffee Club, Ferguson Plarre, Donut King and Lotto Luck.