Interview: Loveariel Paints Walls in Bali

Sydney-based artist and musician Ariel Lauren Sexton-Shaw, perhaps better know to you as Loveariel, recently headed to Bali where she adorned walls with huge, stunning murals. We asked her more about it:

Hey Ariel. How did this project in Bali come about?
Well recently I had, once again, cleared the cobwebs of darkness out of my life. The colour pallet of my artwork had changed to reflect this and was reminding me of a Hindu style tone, so it just clicked that another painting tour was eminent, this time set to a tropical background. That, and the need for cocktails on the beach amidst the Sydney slog of winter was overwhelming!

Tell us about how you came up with the design for the mural in the above video and what it represents…
Well in Bali I was staying in Canggu, which is a little surfing hideaway kind of reminiscent of places like Byron Bay, so I felt it would be fitting to conjure some images of sea maidens. Also, it would be a more neutral thing to paint rather than the more mystical/religious things I usually depict – as there is a big cross-section of cultures in Bali and I didn’t want to step on any toes. That being said, I still managed to offend some locals with the tail of the mermaids being too “snake lady” like, which is apparently a bad omen, and ended up having to spend an extra day to amend the tail into a more fish-like shape, as they are a very superstitious culture over there. Trust me to accidentally paint some black magic shit!

LovearielHa! Tell us more…
Well the rice paddy workers were freaking out and complaining to the owner of the villa so he asked me to change it. He compensated me for the extra time I spent on it, which was good because I wasn’t planning on spending another day painting, so was out partying.

The task was pretty monumental, being up a two-story ladder in 30 degrees full sun with a raging hangover! I almost fell off a few times from the head spins I was having! haha. But in the end it all worked out well, and all the locals love it now. They are very into art and colour there, so it was a pleasure to share my work with that community. Bali is a great place to paint.

How many other murals did you do while you were in Bali? Were they linked thematically?
I did four others in Canggu. Three mermaids, an unintentional rendition of the local Goddess sara svati and a big green maiden head with mudra hands.

The theme was quite Hindu before I was even thinking about going to Indo, so it worked quite nicely as a conversation lubrication between our cultures, especially with the big one as I tried to represent two mermaids of each culture as multicultural friends of the sea.

Do you have any other projects like this planned?
I tend to work based on instinct and opportunity, so it’s more like trying to find the time to exhibit the works I’ve already completed, balanced between the endeavours I’m taking on as creative distractions!

How’s your band, Firesaint, going? Any gigs coming up?
Firesaint being one of the most time consuming distractions, haha. Yeah we are releasing an EP at the moment, with a regonal tour to promote, Gong-Geelong-Melbourne from the 5th-9th of November. we just recorded a new album and in the middle of film clip production . Our next show will be the Frankie’s Psych Night in Sydney on the 28th sept, then my annual Hibernian House halloween party just before the tour. For more info on that check into our facebook page.

What else have you got planned in 2014?
With any luck, if I can get ahead of all these band commitments. I’ll be doing another exhibition of my work for the first time in sculpture form, as well as a full comprehensive body of painting works. 25 paintings all up ranging from small handmade wooden box works to large wall hanging size gothic portraits of mystical icons.

stop. breath. dream. repeat… haha.

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Visit Ariel’s Facebook page for more info. See more photos here.



Interview by Bobby Townsend. Video by Ariel Lauren Sexton-Shaw.