REFELCTIONS – MURAL BY GUIDO AT WELLINGTON DAM
Shot this exciting assignment for Australian Geographic of Guido van Helten on his final day of painting the Wellington Dam mural. The speed at which he worked – along with the high degree of athleticism demonstrated by him – was an amazing sight, and to remember that one man created such a huge work of art was awe-inspiring. Though Guido worked solo, ant-like in comparison to the painted walls he scaled with ease, his assistant and team of rope technicians allowed him to safely climb the huge dam walls, equipped with a powerful air-sprayer and earth-toned paint.
While he worked, we were fortunate to have a day of dramatic, rolling clouds. The drone was integral in showcasing the works sense of place; nestled amongst the forest on the walls of the Wellington Dam, to tell the history and stories of the local community. Thank you Finn O’Reardon for assisting on the day and fab drone work!
Being a photographer, I was the lucky visitor who was able to watch this amazing artist up-close, speaking with Guido to learn of his fascinating process and choice of colour palette. To closely watch him work off a photograph introduced us to an abstract, tonal piece of work, with the forms and details of the figures revealing themselves from a distance.
Guido tracked the changing light with us and happily surrendered his precious moments of last light in order to capture his portrait. I chose to photograph him amongst the rocks, displaying a tonal range akin to that of his artwork, illustrating artistic choices resonating with those of Guido’s work. Though the departure of the sun signalled the end of my own work, Guido continued to paint into the night, completing the mural at 11pm by the light of his trusty headtorch.