5 Minutes with Baby Guerrilla

Her work is unmistakable. People float, fall and fly across Melbourne’s walls. Last November she installed her largest ever paste up, Falling, on the back of the former Grand Theatre in Footscray’s Maddern Square as part of the Footscray on the Edge public art festival.

Footscray local Baby Guerrilla tells us about life as a paste up artist.

How did you get into paste up art?
I always knew I wanted to be an artist. I did most of a fine art degree at Monash University, deferred, lost the papers, then eight years later I went to the VCA (Victorian College of the Arts) and did the whole degree again. I started doing paste ups because they were more spontaneous than my canvas art. Although, because I’m a perfectionist they now take just as long.

Why the name ‘Baby Guerrilla’?
It’s the nickname my dad used to call me. It was his favourite joke. He was calling me a baby gorilla, saying I couldn’t be domesticated. It was a term of affection but it was also an insight into my character. When I started doing street art I changed it to guerrilla to reflect my political motivations. It has a lot of meaning to me.

What is the inspiration behind your artwork?
I draw inspiration from many things. I am inspired by the power of nature (reflected in her piece with the woman carried up by an eagle) the powerful force that energises the universe has both the power to destroy and create. The work is intended to be representational of everyone but they will resonate differently with different people. People will see something in the pieces about themselves.

Can you tell us about the award you won last year?
The competition was run by the Union Dining Restaurant in Richmond, in conjunction with the TarraWarra Estate. I’m really grateful. They were really generous (the total prize was $9000). I bought a new computer with the prize money and they cooked a five course meal for me and my friends – I’m probably not going to eat that well ever again! I am glad I entered because meeting the brief and the challenges of the wall really extended my art practice.

What’s next for Baby Guerrilla?
I have a few more paste up commissions on the go. My passion is for creating large scale public artworks. I can see so much possibility within the medium for enhancing our environment. My dream is to do massive buildings, even a skyscraper…now that would be phenomenal.

As a street artist, Baby Guerrilla keeps anonymous to protect her identity.