This summer, for a limited time only, Melbourne Central will be home to an exclusive free art exhibition set to delight and inspire Melbournian art afficionados, shoppers and city-goers alike.
From Friday 1 December 2023 to Wednesday 10 January 2024, five 10-metre art inflatables called Ernie will be popping up at key hotspots around the centre.
Often mistaken for either a rabbit, a kangaroo, or some type of long-eared dog, Ernie doesn’t mind. Unfazed by the ambiguity, he embraces his creative nature. By day, Ernie leads spirited street art tours of the city. By night, Ernie can often be found perched in a camp chair outside Melbourne Central’s Nike Store at 3 am, being extra early for the next morning’s limited edition shoe release.
The visionary behind the larger-than-life spectacle is Brolga, a globally acclaimed Australian pop-style artist and illustrator recognised for his striking wheat pastes, street art, and murals on the streets of New York.
Brolga is an Australian-based artist and illustrator who gained recognition for his large-scale wheat pastes, street art, and murals on the streets of New York.
With a pop-styled aesthetic honed from his graphic design background, Brolga mixes daydream-like doodles with simple iconography to create his worlds and characters.
Growing up in Australia, his family would often make days-long trips across the country, moving house from Queensland to the Northern Territory and back.
It’s on these road trips that Brolga began his art, illustrating his surreal and imaginative characters while journeying through the remote terrains of his home.
Brolga is most influenced by the many subjects encountered and collected from years of traveling the world and living abroad.
These days, his characters come to life in the New York landscape, going straight from his sketchbook to the streets and walls of the city. Over time, the characters wear with the city and become a part of daily life.
In addition to his work on the street, Brolga has found his illustrations adapted to a wide variety of industries and brands. Notable clients include Jaguar, Apple, The New York Times, BMW and Unknown Mortal Orchestra.
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