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Colouring the world of CBC

Schools

Groovy, psychedelic, with a touch of cartoon element and plenty of colour and detail…that’s how internationally-commissioned street artist Aaron (Azzy) Batic describes his latest works that are transforming the walls of Christian Brothers College.

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A graduate in 2012, Azzy, 24, has returned to the college as its artist in residence and is delighted that through his distinctive artwork he has the opportunity to “change the memories” of various spaces for current students.

Azzy admits he “didn’t really fit in” at school, however he took up art in Year 12 and discovered a “real passion for it”.

“I was always a musician and involved with bands here. Year 12 was a year of big change and I found refuge in my artwork. I geared up all my studies and research project questions around trying to find my own style,” he said.

His research project focused on street art and while he had an obvious flair for painting when he graduated from CBC he decided to study psychology at Flinders University.

At the same time Azzy began putting his designs – “which were really just stuff I was doodling during lectures” – on Facebook and Instagram and it soon attracted a considerable fan base and design commissions.

“I took a leap of faith and it hasn’t been great and glorious all the time and there have been pitfalls along the way, but I have had a steady stream of commissions and I’m making a living out of it,” he explained.

Some of the commissions include murals on a London courthouse and an old laboratory in Amsterdam which has been converted into a hostel and nightclub. He has new works planned in Portugal and Dublin next year.

“My job is to breathe new life in to what are pretty daggy spots,” he said.

In Adelaide, his vibrant and detailed artwork can be seen at a range of venues including the Central Market, Westfield at Tea Tree Plaza and Marion, State Swim on Morphett Road, railway stations at Glenalta and Adelaide Showgrounds, West End Brewery, Fair Espresso in Victoria Square and Seasonal Garden Cafe in Hahndorf, as well as local cafes and salons.

At CBC his first work is in the O’Brien Building and is a dolphin mural featuring the school’s “daring” colour palette of purple and gold. The “maximalist design” is full of detail and has created plenty of interest, with students and staff happy to provide feedback and input. A passing cleaner even quips that Azzy’s work “brightens my day”.

For Azzy, being able to interact with those viewing his art is “awesome”.

“As a mural artist I work in isolation a lot so it can be a lonely job but here the students and teachers are around all the time… providing their opinions and interpretations of the artwork.”

As for the future, Azzy has plenty more ideas to transform the walls at CBC, including murals of Edmund Rice and a Celtic cross.

“Just watch this space!”

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