23 May First Coat 2017
“Good givers are the greatest getters” – Russell Simmons
Toowoomba. Here’s me thinking I was travelling to the middle of no where. Shame on me. Pleasantly surprised by beautifully Old, big colonial styled buildings of the CBD inhabited by spruced up boutiques, cafes and labels, the healthy dose of industrial factories lining the outter edges of the CBD and the gigantic 3 story mall housing hundreds of fashionable labels and major chains. I am impressed. The product of a forward thinking community is what I see.
The allowance of a unique Festival concept such as First Coat is further proof of that. 4 years of its remnants woven into its streets of Central Toowoomba creates this interesting thread of diversity and sense of adventure. The walls are incredibly generous and the calibre of art is pretty decent. This years Line Up had us excited before we even arrived. The contribution of the New enhanced existing works and didn’t disappoint. The colonial structures gifted incredible large canvases. Each owning there space with plenty of leg room to spare. It is, in its own right, quite prolific.
Mica Still, a long term friend and one of our favourites was our first stop. Busy running a workshop whilst juggling her wall project, just proves of her big heart and beautiful nature. She bought that touch of home with her that we’ve been missing this year. It was a pleasure.
With plenty of Artists still hard at work up ladders, lifts and tippy toe, the air ran thick with the aroma of spray paint and paint. Even managed to catch Otis Hope Carey, a guy we recently stumbled across via instagram, at work. I totally disappointed myself missing my opportunity to say hi as I totally transformed into a ‘fan girl’. Not one of my proudest moments, but when you admire the work of someone that much, well, in my case, you turn into an idiot.
Our favourite mural of the festival, which by the way is not easy to pick as all the murals were pretty up there, would have to be that of Clair Foxton. Being my first experience, and Jah’s second, the level of tight detail is ‘ridiculously good looking’. To make the experience even better, we met muse Larraine also seeing it for the first time. Her emotion and humility was just perfect. Such a privilege to share in the moment. Its sad to be apart of the End for First Coat.
All praise to organisers Ian McCallum & Grace Dewar for dreaming big, taking risks and making it happen. You know what they say: “Good givers are the greatest getters” so we look forward to seeing whats next.