Perfect Match is returning for its fourth year this weekend. Eighteen new murals will be added to Sydney’s streets, the result of local artists being paired up with residents to transform their blank walls into artworks. And although it’s organised by the local council, it takes a fairly hands-off approach once it’s played cupid.
“We don’t need to dictate what art is, you guys can do it,” says Perfect Match director Victoria Johnstone. “You develop it, and we’ll give you the funds and the space to do it.”
Perfect Match doesn’t add colour to the inner west as much as accentuate its pre-existing character. Mulga’s Eberto the Cockie, for example, is a love-letter to the minutiae of Marrickville life.
“One of the ladies [who lives in the apartment block the mural is painted on] told Mulga she loves how in the winter the black cockatoos come down to eat the banksias,” says Johnstone. “So that’s the mural, but it’s very Mulga-y, of a cockatoo eating a banksia ice-cream.”
This weekend there’s walking and cycling tours, as well as artist talks and drinks. But if you want to go at your own pace, here’s our walking trail of choice, with refreshment stops along the way.
Broadsheet’s* guide to Perfect Match, Newtown to Marrickville
Our first stop is Mary Street in Newtown, just across the road from the station.
Here Georgia Hill will paint a mural dedicated to the ever-packed Camperdown Memorial Park. We’d watch the work-in-progress with a filter coffee in hand from 212 Blu(link), just a street over.
If you’re looking for a pre-tour feed, the signature 212 toastie is a mix of spicy sobrassada, tomato relish and molten Swiss and béchamel. Things get messy: it’s best to eat in.
Then head into the park to see OX King’s ode to Newtown legend Eliza Donnithorne. According to lore, she was a bride-to-be abandoned on her wedding day who until her death three decades later in 1886 wore her wedding dress every day.
Sound familiar? It’s rumoured Donnithorne was the inspiration for Miss Havisham from Great Expectations.
Loop through the park to catch previous years’ artworks, though the dogs will be a cute distraction. At Lennox Street, catch acclaimed artist Kyle Hughes-Odgers’s wistful portrait of a woman in a forest bursting with colour.
Next, we’re heading towards Marrickville, down King Street.
Turn into Holt Street towards Simmons Street, where you’ll find Rebecca Lourey’s Bring Back The Butterflies. It’s inspired by the local resident’s eco-activism; she’s an advocate for increasing the numbers of native flora and fauna in the area.
Alex Lehours’s artwork at Marrickville Metro is next, dedicated to the suburb’s industrial roots. Along the way to our final stop at Batch Brewery on Sydenham Road, pop by Marrickville’s repurposed spaces, such as vegetarian cafe Two Chaps, or, via a slight detour, Precinct 75.
When you reach the brewery you’ll find Dan Wenn’s re-imagining of Gumbramorra Swamp, which once dominated the area. The brewery’s the perfect place to finish up, especially if you’re an adventurous drinker. Try the coconut ale or the cucumber and sorachi stout, though more traditional brews are on-tap too.
Time everything nicely this Sunday afternoon and you might crash the Perfect Match party at Batch Brewery, which starts at 3pm.
Perfect Match Festival is on from Friday August 4 to Sunday August 6.