Baby Guerrilla creates Libraries Change Lives mural for Richmond Library
Monday 07 December 2020
Melbourne-based street-artist, Baby Guerrilla, has transformed the Richmond Library with a new artwork titled Libraries Change Lives.
The Church Street side of the Richmond Library wall has been turned into a large bookshelf. Stacked with a broad range of publications, the shelves run along the length of the building. Engaged in various activities, animals and fictional characters weave their way through the books, attesting to the infinite possibilities that libraries offer. A twentieth-century Melbourne tram rattles in between books, as a young child—brandishing a wand—sings loudly, trying to drown out its sounds.
Around the corner on Charlotte Street, standing 10 meters tall, a child rides piggyback on their parent. Moving past a dragon breathing fire, the man heads towards a giant book, bringing his imagination to life. Baby Guerilla’s mural illustrates that libraries build healthy and productive communities, supporting all kinds of literacy at all stages of life. It's a space for ideas, learning, sharing and gathering.
Public libraries are not the quiet places they once were
They are busy, popular cultural institutions, providing free and equitable access to vast collections of books, films, music and everything in-between. They are vibrant community hubs offering social interaction and shared cultural experiences.
This artwork is playful, striking and inviting. It encourages visitors into the building whilst fostering a sense of inclusion. It raises awareness of the building’s function and reflects the library's role as a platform for discovery and adventure, a path for the curious to travel, a hub for community to gather in, and an inclusive space that welcomes everyone.
Baby Guerrilla's Libraries Change Lives mural, along with the accompanying new signage and lighting, was commissioned by Yarra City Council in 2020. The project was realised through a collaboration between Yarra Libraries, Building and Asset Management and Arts, Culture and Venues.
Baby Guerrilla is interested in approaching space and perspective in new and innovative ways that engage audiences beyond the parameters of a gallery or traditional art space. Well-known for her large-scale public murals of human figures, her work is intended to appear to defy gravity and constraint and to evoke a sense of wonder. She has exhibited widely throughout Australia since graduating from VCA and has won a number of awards. See more of Baby Guerrilla's artwork on her website.