Public Art: Eddystone Ave Underpass



Artist: Jon Ismailovski

Ismailovski worked with Year Five students at Eddystone Primary School to develop the concept for the mural design. Students created hybrid animals through a series of three workshops, creating both their physical appearance and assigning them other behavioural traits. Ismailovski then used these animals to input the creation of his own design.

Ismailovski’s 40 metre long mural combines fish and fowl, flora and fauna, in monochromatic tone as though Hieronymus Bosch was designing a set for the Wiggles on black and white TV.

Western Australian artist Jon Ismailovski has created a surreal painting which combines a curious mix of elegance, humour and myth. The works pose bizarre narrative scenes depicting a strange, compromised paradise where both human and animal characters are set in private folkloric ensembles all connected by an oversized organ. The large-scale mural is drawn with a clarity of line and refined draughtsmanship; ideas come through doodling and sketching, often drawn directly onto the wall with no predetermined plan. Ismailovski works instinctively, responding to ideas as they suggest themselves as he works. He likes to bewilder the viewer, offering no possible solution to the riddle he conjures.

A hybrid mix of creatures all co-habit in the strange world of Ismailovski’s mural addressing the artists interest in the hierarchy of humans and animals, and playfully creates scenarios that undermine the control that the humans have in this world. The humour or gleeful perversion in the paintings is achieved by inverting roles and authority between humans and animals and delivers a multitude of narratives that no one answer can deduce. These narratives reflect Ismailovski’s working process of collaging the students ideas together to create bizarre and unusual scenarios. Ismailovski’s work is littered with an expandable narrative and is substantiated by a proficient foundation of drawing and painting.