Melbourne artist Kenny Pittock’s previous works include a video montage of 182 people blinking at a Blink-182 concert, a sculpture of an m&m with Eminem, and a set of ceramic chip sculptures with the word ‘friend’ written on them – because the best kind of chip is a friend-chip.
This month, he’s bringing his punny sense of humour to Launceston.
Pittock is in the middle of painting two murals, one at Inveresk and one at the Workers Club.
There’s also a Moo-ral, based entirely around cows, in the downstairs corridor at Albert Hall, leading to the bathrooms.
Some artists might resent the fact that their work is mainly going to be seen by people going to and from the toilet, but not Pittock.
“There’s much less pressure,” he said.
“And you can catch people off-guard.
“It’s meant to be fun and playful – and it’s fun to do a work like this in this prestigious building. It’s really cool that they’ve gotten on board with it.
“The point is that it would put people in a good ‘moo-d’, to ‘grab their day by the horns’.”
Pittock has bunkered down in Launceston for the first three weeks of the year, in order to paint the murals in time for the Mona Foma weekend of January 18 – 20.
A curator of Mona who is a fan of his work asked him to apply to participate, which was a bit of a shock to the system.
“If you’d said ten years ago I was going to work with Mona, I would have said ‘what?’ because Mona didn’t exist,” he said.
“But no, it’s really a dream come true.”
His three temporary Launceston works play with ideas around their locations.
After learning about the “intimidating but harmless” history of the Workers Club, he settled on portraying a series of literally armless figures, at the former nineteenth-century locus of drinking and gambling.
The Inveresk location, in the centre of the music festival, will feature a mural of a ‘Tasmanian Symphony Orchid-stra’, along with other Tasmanian-related themes.
The cow thing came to him after surveying the stairwell he’d been working with at Albert Hall, and recalling the quirky fact that cows can’t climb down stairs. Although, maybe they can.
“I actually said it on ABC Radio, and then a farmer rang up and said, ‘my cow walks down four stairs every day’,” he said.
“So I’ve been doing the research, and apparently cows hate walking down stairs, but they will if forced. It’s to do with the way their knees bend, and their weight distribution.
“ … But four stairs doesn’t really count as a staircase, anyway. It could jump down four stairs.”
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