It started with a smile...and ended with a house full of art and laughter.
Over a 3 week period during the month of July 2011, a rental house in Warrnambool was transformed into a colurful art space by local artists. Francis van der Demark is the man behind the transformation. He was renting the house at the time and was told by the owners that they planned to demolish the house in the coming months to make way for a new house. Saddened by the prospect of moving out of his much loved home, Francis wrote SMILE in capital letters across the kitchen cabinet, just to remind himself to smile. Two weeks later, Francis had some friends over and they were talking about his SMILE and the fate of the house, they came to the conclusion that they could now do anything they like to the house because it would all be gone in a month's time anyway ...and thus the idea of turning the house into one big canvas was born. That night each of his friends took to a letter in S-M-I-L-E with paint and by the end of their session, the five cupboard doors were painted.
An invitation was put up on Facebook for artists to come around and paint the house. Over the next 3 weeks, 50 artists left their mark on the house and a further 200 or so people came to the art house exhibition opening and gave the house one hell of a send off.
Filmed and Edited by Colleen Hughson, ABC Open Producer, South West Victoria
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