Dirty Drawings to Delight Beach-goers

Scott Wade's dirty car art features as part of the Strand Ephemera, located in front of Strand Park from 28 July - 6 August.

Whenever a bit of dust has built up on the corners of the windscreen, I’ve been known to dabble in a spot of car art. ‘Wash me’ on one window; a smiley face on another. But Texas artist Scott Wade takes dirty car art to a whole new level.

The Wimberley native’s dirty car art can be found on the beach in front of Strand Park throughout the Strand Ephemera, which kicks off along the esplanade this Friday.

Scott said the pieces he will showcase in the Festival are influenced by Townsville as well as his own hometown.

“I decided it would be good to do a cultural exchange – so I’m doing four pieces based on Townsville and Queensland, and four pieces based on Wimberley and Texas. And I’m trying to hit the basic themes of environment, culture, history and industry,” Scott said.

“Dirty car art was born from living on a long dirt road for 20 years in Central Texas; it’s a limestone dust that comes up from the road and coats the cars pretty thoroughly, with the rear window always getting quite opaque.

“I started out with my finger and just did doodles, line drawings and funny faces, but then got curious about how I could get more shading and detail into it, so started using the pads of my fingers to pat off a bit of dust or use my fingernail to get a finer line. Eventually, I started drawing out my brushes and different things, and realised I could do anything with this medium that I could do with charcoal on paper or inkwash.

Four of Wade’s pieces in the Ephemera draw inspiration from Townsville, while the other four are based on his hometown in Texas.

“I do a lot of different kinds of art; I do murals, I’ve done sculptures, clay, I paint and draw and am a graphic designer by trade. But the dirty car art is what has brought me the most recognition, and has made me what I like to call ‘internetally’ famous. The National Inquirer called me the da Vinci of dust; someone else said the Raphael of really dirty cars … the Michelangelo of mud. I just call myself the dirty car artist.

“This is totally an ephemeral art: I would never want this to last. I have done storefront windows where I do the artwork on the inside and then they hang a black curtain behind it, and that’ll stay until someone wipes it off. But that doesn’t appeal to me as much as the stuff that goes away, I love the impermanent nature of this.

“Then what appealed to me about the {Strand] Ephemera would definitely be having the chance to get to participate with a lot of other artists, Australian artists especially; it’s really incredible to meet other artists and get to see what they’re doing.”

Scott Wade’s dirty car art can be found on the beach in front of Strand Park, with the Strand Ephemera officially launching this Friday. For more information on what to expect, click here.

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