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A&E Q&A - Living Walls: Miso

Melbourne, Australia

Miso, who is originally from Ukraine, now makes her home in Melbourne, Australia. Her muted color schemes blend naturally into mundane city walls, making the presentation of her wheat pastes very dynamic, almost appearing as though they belonged there all along.

How did you become a participating artist in Living Walls and what about the conference drew you to participate?
I was first contacted by Living Walls in their first year and sent some small works for their show. They were very supportive and we'd been in touch a little before. Last year, I missed out on sending anything, as I was traveling, and come this year, they dropped an email out of nowhere inviting me to come over. It's really inspiring to me, how young the organizers are and just how much they've been able to do so far.

What are your thoughts on the lineup being all female?
I can't wait. There are so many women coming that I admire and look up to. I usually knock back women-only street art exhibitions or projects because they can come across quite "token," but I'm really excited to see how Living Walls does it, because I don't think they border on that at all. It's just incredible that things like this can happen.

How do you think public art affects the community or city it is displayed in?
I think that public art is hugely important in growing cities and increasingly dense urban environments. I'd say that it puts a city's culture back onto itself, something that gives communities or neighborhoods a sense of identity and ownership — especially in transient or dense places, something to identify and connect with on a really personal level.

How do you come up with a piece for a wall? Is there a particular feeling you get or do you plan it carefully?
It's always different. For street pieces, they often start as sketches or reference photographs that I take and evolve into finished pieces. From there, they shift and change as I keep drawing and changing my mind. For my gallery work or installations, I usually have to be a lot more organized and plan and sketch months ahead. It's a lot more draining.

What do you hope people get out of your work?
I usually like to leave that really open. When you think out street art, you have to remember that most people who see it wouldn't know the artist, or author, and since there isn't a plaque like in a museum, people really have to dictate their own thoughts. So I like to leave it open and not explain them too much. I think it's really important that they speak for themselves.

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!!!Next: TIKA

TIKA was born in Switzerland, but raised in Cairo, Egypt. She attributes her fascination with visual language to the mythology of ancient Egyptian culture that she was exposed to growing up. Splitting her time between Zurich, Rio de Janeiro, and Berlin, TIKA enjoys traveling all over the world to create site-specific murals that draw on local culture for inspiration...???
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