What you need to know

Market Mural by Rafaella McDonald

Artist Raphaella

Market Mural by Rafaella McDonald is a public art installation that transforms the exterior wall of Everage Street, Moonee Ponds into a multi-layered artwork.

Rafaella’s work explores the history of the site as a former marketplace, now transformed into Mason Square, a residential and commercial public precinct in the heart of Moonee Ponds. The mural includes text which reads, “is the old marketplace receding or appearing?” inviting the viewer to contemplate the echoes and sensory impressions of the old market and imagine how the remnants of this place move with us through time.

market mural

Working with the visual language of abstraction, a form of non-representative art-making, Rafaella encourages the viewer to interpret the shapes and gestures present through their own thoughts and experiences. Are the markings a map of the landscape from above? Do the shapes look like a collage of windows or doors? How do the scratches and scrawls in paint feel against the smooth concrete and timber of the neighbourhood?

The colour palette and painting techniques used are intentionally anachronistic, reminiscent of the 1990’s era when murals were hand-painted with a variety of brushes and stencils. Rafaella has opted to make use of these traditional methods to create a range of tonal shifts and textures; capturing the subtle hand gestures and markings of the artist at work. Blue is a foundational colour in the composition, which when viewed by the eye, translates as receding on the visual spectrum, therefore creating a sense of depth. The diversity of paint applications and surfaces, such as hard-edge lines against fluid shapes, seeks to replicate the movement and dynamism of city markets. The ecology of markets as shared spaces of economy, transit, and community reflects the current role of Mason Square, where children play, and local’s meet to gather or rest.

market mural

Commemorating past and present notions of place, Market Mural illustrates the role that public art can play in celebrating our local neighbourhoods and communities.

Rafaella McDonald has exhibited widely in not-for-profit and commercial gallery spaces, including West Space, TCB Inc, Daine Singer, and the NGV. She has completed large-scale public art commissions for Footscray Community Arts Centre, The Melbourne Metro Authority, The Substation, City of Stonnington, Shepparton Art Museum and Melbourne Fringe.

Location: 15 Everage St. Moonee Ponds

Video link: Watch more here

Credit: Photos and video by Shuttermain.