Street artist Stuart Sale immortalises the Queen in Marrickville

“You can’t please everyone, can you?” he notes.

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“I’m not a massive royalist, but I’m interested in history and I understand how far we’ve come. I’m from the UK, obviously my grandfather took me to the Tower of London when I was a kid; when I lived in London, I was aware of this royal history.

“The way I see my role as an artist is almost to document memory. You paint something on the wall and I hope it survives all of us. You almost cement something in time and help people remember.

Sale painted the queen in a flattering profile using a stencil technique in which he applied six coats of paint ranging from dark to light tones.

It took two and a half hours to create the Sydenham Road portrait. “I’ve never been reprimanded for painting a wall and I’ve been painting street art for 10 years,” Sale said. “But I’ve always had it in my back pocket that if somebody doesn’t like it, I have a painting and decorating business, and I’ll come back tomorrow and paint over it.”

The sale commemorated American George Floyd in June 2020 in a garage near Enmore Park, as a reminder of injustice. In a similar vein, he painted two Aboriginal boys under a half-mast Aboriginal flag in Sydney Street, Marrickville.

“When I was going to college and studying art, art was a lofty thing that ordinary people couldn’t understand. For me, art was something you had to go to an art gallery, drink wine and talk to smart people about. When you put art on the street and give it away, the ordinary person can walk past and enjoy it for what it is.

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