09 Aug Meeting Peter Drew – Australia’s busiest street artist
We were blessed by a serendipitous series of connections (thanks Henry) and had Peter Drew talk to Diploma and Adv Diploma students last week.
A packed computer lab on 133 Newcastle Street in Northbridge, enjoyed Peter’s outstanding presentation — featuring amazing early viral work and examining his most recent AUSSIE campaign.
Insightful. Intelligent. And easily in my top 3 street artists of all time.
Thank you Peter for your generosity.
Below article lifted from NEWS.COM.AU: http://www.news.com.au/national/man-behind-real-australians-say-welcome-campaign-touring-the-country/news-story/f907a6f1c8d98ac89ed69ccf4c839a4e
IF you live in one of Australia’s capital cities, you’ve likely seen this poster. The artist says if you haven’t seen it yet, you will soon.
There are 1500 of these posters being plastered around the country. They feature the faces of Australians from different generations and of different origins with the word “AUSSIE”.
The artist, 32-year-old Adelaide man Peter Drew, has form when it comes to challenging Australia’s views on immigration.
He was behind the hugely-successful Real Australians Say Welcome campaign that included a 1000-strong poster drop in 2015 and was shared on social media in huge numbers.
Mr Drew told news.com.au his new project is simple: He’s targeting what he calls the “people in the middle” who belong neither to the right or the left of the political debate.
“There are people that are primed to really like this stuff and people that are primed to hate it,” he said.
“I think the audience that I’m after are people right in the middle that just need a bit of a reminder about Australia’s real identity. These people are not bigots, they’re just people who have forgotten our strength.”
Mr Drew wasn’t always so political. He says he started thinking more critically when he was living in Glasgow during the last election.
“The phrase ‘Stop the Boats’ struck me as bizarre coming from a nation of immigrants,” he said.“Before then my street art was apolitical. Since then, it’s all political.”
Australia’s treatment of refugees and asylum seekers continues to make headlines. Earlier this week, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said refugees entering Australia will “steal jobs”. He labelled them “illiterate”.
Mr Drew says the minister’s rhetoric ignores the truth that Australia has been built on contributions from refugees for 150 years and that Australia’s “strength” is in how welcoming its people are.
The main face of his new campaign is Monga Khan, a man who left India for a life selling goods between towns in Australia. He said the image is the perfect representation of what he’s trying to achieve.
“I was in Perth the other day putting up that poster and a guy said to me, ‘That’s the least looking Aussie I’ve ever seen’.
“I told him that was the point and he saw that. There wasn’t a big discussion, it was just a reminder of who we really are.”
The artist is returning to Adelaide to print more posters this week. He’s being supported on his tour around Australia by everyday Australians. Some raised money for his flight costs, others are offering him lifts to and from prominent locations.
“Last time I did it nobody knew who I was,” he told news.com.au.
“There are people in every city offering to drive me around. I’ve met so many people from various migrant communities who have taken a liking to Monga Khan.”
His advice for Mr Dutton?
“I don’t think Peter Dutton understands how statements like (refugees are illiterate) corrode Australia’s identity. I think ending offshore detention is an opportunity to restore Australia’s identity. We need to see welcoming asylum seekers as a strength. So many Australians are waiting for that shift in the debate.”
Mr Drew is making his contribution to the debate, one poster at a time.
To support him, visit Peterdrewarts.com.