“I don’t really get invited to mural festivals,” Scott Marsh tells Broadsheet. “I think councils are a bit scared of the political nature of some of my work.”
The Sydney-based artist is known for his provocative murals – one of a two-faced Bill Shorten, another of Egg Boy and an anti-Adani mural among them – so an invite to participate in this year’s Wonderwalls street-art festival in Port Adelaide was a welcome exception.
“[Wonderwalls] just said, ‘Paint whatever you want,’” says Marsh. “It was really cool of them to just give me free rein … It’s one of the more spicy murals I’ve painted.”
In the past, Marsh’s controversial work has been painted over in a matter of days. His Wonderwalls mural, titled Burning Rock, will remain.
The work was inspired by Lluis Fuzzhound’s Bushfire Brandalism poster and features Prime Minister Scott Morrison alongside fellow Coalition members Craig Kelly, Peter Dutton, Barnaby Joyce and Angus Taylor. The men are depicted with crack pipes, surrounded by dirty smoke and a table covered in bundles of cash and coal. Joyce is making a phone call to Gina Rinehart; Morrison is clad in a Hawaiian shirt and lei (a nod to his very notable absence during the bushfire crisis).
“[These] politicians are completely addicted to coal, and also addicted to everything coal brings them – in terms of political donations and everything else,” Marsh says. “They’re totally hooked on it.” Marsh says the five politicians featured in the artwork are among the key climate deniers in Federal Parliament. He acknowledges there were more he could have included, but “they wouldn’t all fit on the wall”.
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The environment is screaming get off the gear! The scientists are screaming get off the gear & the people are screaming get off the fucking gear!... No transition plan for coal workers, No plan for a clean economy & no plan for a prosperous Australia. A government hooked on those sweet political donations. Hooked on burning rock!!🔥💨🙅♂️ Mural inspired by @lluisfuzzhound dope #bushfirebrandalism poster 👌🏼 & assisted by @allfrey #burningrock #dirtyhabit #coallobby #climatedeniers #climatedenial #callginawerunningaglassbbqatscottiesjoint #timeforaustraliatocallanintervention #peterduttonsblockedme #craigkellyateallthepies #lnpip #cookedcunts #getoffthegear #corruptpoliticians #auspol #selfservingflops #aloha #crackden #stopadani #glassbbq #ripgreatbarrierreef #craigkellymp #peterduttonmp #scomo #barnabyjoyce #angustaylormp #ginarinehart #liberalpartyofaustralia #portadelaide 📷 @dymskov
He completed the mural over the weekend, assisted by Gold Coast-based artist Bastian Allfrey. It took about five days.
So far, passersby have embraced the image. It helps that the port suburb is a Labor stronghold. “It’s been super positive. I think it’s awesome that the community has gotten around the message,” Marsh says. But he’s still aware his work could push buttons. “I didn’t actually insert the crack pipes until the very last minute,” Marsh admits with a laugh. “Just in case people had a problem with it.”
The Burning Rock mural is located at 13 Ship Street, Port Adelaide. See more of Marsh’s work here.