A love of Phantom comics spawns a tropical rainforest mural in Elwood

The demise of a silver birch in Terry and Nicky’s garden in Elwood, was the stimulus for a backyard blitz that has garnered a lush, tropical, rainforest mural with waterfall, birds, butterflies and ferns.

Bereft at the loss of her tree, Nicky, who works from a studio in the backyard, turned to a local nursery for advice on plantings. Because of insufficient sunlight, her vegetable garden had to go, however making a feature of the adjoining wall was a suggestion she jumped at.

The weird thing is’ says Nicky ‘we’ve always wanted a mural. I love mural art because I love comics, I still get Phantom! I love the hard-edged graphics. So, instead of giving each other a Christmas present this past year, Terry and I decided to invest in a mural.’ 

Ironically, it was just after New Years’ eve that they ran into one of their dog-walking friends, a big supporter of art, who had been approached by a mural artist to paint a waterfall in her laneway.

I saw a photo of the work and loved it immediately. I text the mural artist, MIKEYXXI, and he turned up the next day to quote us.’ continued Nicky.

As an artist, Nicky was mindful of not being too prescriptive in her brief to MIKEY. It was simply: ‘lots of leafy bits and I would like water.’

In soaring temperatures in early January, the vines and wires were covered and moved away from the wall. Vivi their black and tan kelpie was assigned to the front of the house for the next two days, and MIKEY wheeled in boxes of aerosol paints and his ladder.

Starting with an undercoat of blue across the upper half for the sky and a mauve horizon, he then mapped out the trees and integrated the clothes line before adding the detail. Within two days, their nine metre red brick wall was transformed into a lush paradise.

Delighted with the result, Nicky says: ‘I come out in the morning and I smile. It’s such a lovely way to brighten up a small garden and make it special.’  

And for MIKEY, whose mission it is to turn boring walls into masterpieces, he’s happy with the result. With more than twenty-five years’ experience, he not only had dream clients, but another home for his graffiti art. Take a look at the mural in progress on YouTube here