Traveling to Australia to paint a mural for the Brisbane Street Art Festival, Russian artist Viktoria Veisbrut has crafted a vision of a more peaceful world far removed from the happenings in her home country.
Located at Howard Smith Wharves, a number of notable cartoon characters have been appropriated by Veisbrut mingling with one another.
“It’s kind of my dream, when people from different parts of the world can be just friends — and in general like countries — can be just friends. They’re just hanging out together, having fun, enjoying their life how they want to, ” she tells the ABC.
The artist says the Russian conflict with Ukraine has turned her life upside down. She’s unable to create and exhibit art in many foreign countries due to visa restrictions. She describes she being able to attain a visa to head to Australia as a miracle.
“There (Ukraine) is a complete nightmare, almost all people in Russia have relatives and people who they love in Ukraine — so it’s sad and bad.”
“A lot of my friends lost their jobs in a week, maybe, after, because they were working for foreign companies who declined to work with us.
“It’s a miracle that I got a visa here. I’m so happy for that.”
Brisbane Street Art Festival Director Lincoln Savage says the inclusion of Veisbrut for the event could prove the catalyst for industry-shaping conversations.
“In the end, we decided that it wasn’t our place to restrict an artist who has no involvement. We want opportunities for people, and maybe it’s a good chance for dialogue to be opened.
“I think it was good to kind of have a connection in a time like this, when potentially a lot of doors are closing, and a dialogue is difficult to have.”
Veisbrut has headed back to Russia despite the conflict and a number of Brisbane locals telling her to make the switch down under permanently.
“I’m not sure that I’m ready and want to leave my home. I was grown there. They’re my parents and my grandparents, the parents and grandparents of my husband, my kids and my friends and my home.”
“I don’t worry about representing peace. The bad thing is representing war.”
To find out more about the Brisbane Street Art Festival, visit bsafest.com.au.