The art of play

GRAEME MILES RICHARDS’ giant mural on South Tce is not just a painting — it’s also a game.

The Bayswater artist, who is just weeks away from finishing the 86m-long artwork on the East West Design furniture warehouse in South Fremantle, has painted hidden characters in the piece and he wants passers-by to try find them.

• Graeme Miles is the man behind South Terrace’s giant mural. Photos by Emmie Dowling

• Graeme Miles is the man behind South Terrace’s giant mural. Photos by Emmie Dowling

These characters include tiny aliens, two meerkats, a “blue-crested Venezuelan dove” and furniture shop owner Kim Russo’s pet west highland white terrier, Coco — which appears once in each of the seven themed sections of the painting.

The piece starts with tropical scene from the left, then the image takes on Moroccan, French, Spanish, Singaporean and African themes when walking north.

Richards says the trompe l’oeil — a French term for art which “fools the eye” — is almost like a life-sized version of author Graeme Base’s children’s book Animalia or illustrator Martin Handford’s Where’s Wally? series.

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“It’s a game for children,” Richards, 52, told the Herald this week while daubing paint on the last section of the painting.

The NZ expatriate says the exotic images represent the origins of furniture sold on site.

Richards, who is behind some of the iconic themed Canning Highway bus shelters, has spent up to seven hours each day for the past year working on the South Tce piece.

The artwork is expected to be completed in the next three months.

by EMMIE DOWLING

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