Scott Marsh is based in Sydney, where he’s painted smart-alecky murals about Sydney’s lock-out laws, the Paris Climate Agreement and same-sex marriage. Last August the artist was also questioned by Brisbane police after painting a cheeky Betoota Advocate-inspired piece there, protesting the controversial Adani coal mine.
Now it’s Melbourne’s turn.
A few hours ago, Marsh wrapped up a five-day session painting Two Face, another Adani-themed mural, accusing Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten of an overly flexible position. On one side, a hipster Shorten holds a takeaway coffee and stares dreamily at the sky, commenting, "I'm sceptical, is the coal vegan?" On the other, tradie Shorten clutches a can of XXXX Gold and says, "Yeah, nah. Queensland jobs, moit! How about that Thurston, aye?" referring to rugby league player Johnathan Thurston.
“There’s a bi-election coming up in Batman, which has been a catalyst for Bill Shorten softening his stance on Adani,” Marsh says. (Batman, Two Face. Get it?) “He’s clearly willing to sell out the people of Queensland if it gets him voted in, and willing to sell out the people of Melbourne if it gets him voted in.”
The Division of Batman covers much of inner Melbourne, including Fitzroy, Carlton, Northcote, Reservoir, Preston and Thornbury. It is hotly contested by the Greens and Labor. Labor won the seat by a narrow margin in 2016, even though the Greens took 1 per cent more of the primary vote (36 per cent total).
Marsh found the site on the corner of Bell and High Streets in Preston – a group of derelict shops and the former home of Melbourne Arts Club – through friends. “I’ve been wanting to paint a lot more stuff in Melbourne this year,” he says. “It’s a real street art mecca.”