With the announcement of a two-week extension to the lockdown came the inevitable next question from parents across the ACT: ‘How on earth am I going to keep the kids (big and small) sane for all that time?’, closely followed by ‘do we have anywhere else we haven’t yet decorated?’
One local textile artist is encouraging Canberrans to get creative with an often-overlooked household space – wheelie bins.
Putting some art on your bin is all part of an attempt to spread a bit of cheer and get people smiling when they are out and about in their neighbourhoods – obviously behind their masks, of course.
A word of warning before you start getting too creative, however. The City Services website states that wheelie bins remain the property of the ACT Government, and therefore “should not be painted or permanently marked.”
Luckily, this still leaves plenty of options for you and your little Picassos or Monets – think lots of cutting and sticking with copious amounts of masking tape.
The great thing about it not being permanent is that the fun doesn’t really end. That means every time the bins have to go out, you can replace the art. You might also get lucky by asking your next-door neighbours if you can use their bins, too.
Textile artist Kirandeep Grewal (Kiran) is the mastermind behind the idea.
She runs Kiran Design Studio and wants to encourage Canberrans to let their creative sides out during lockdown.
“Every week, you can make something new and exciting and then see it out in the road,” she said.
But it’s not about creating masterpieces, Kiran says anything goes – whether that’s stick figures or just something simple and colourful.
She also recommends making a collage on a piece of paper from old magazines or newspapers – or even having a go at papier mache if you have the know-how.
“For me, all art is good art if it’s come from your heart and been created with all the right intentions in mind,” Kiran added.
Kiran is also conscious that if adults are finding lockdowns difficult, it’s even harder for children, and with kids of her own at home, she knows just how tiring the Zoom meetings can become.
“It’s definitely a time that hasn’t been easy for children,” she said.
She says the idea behind the wheelie bin art is not only about getting creative, it’s also about getting kids off the screens and engaged in something which requires more focus of them.
Kiran is excited to see the idea take off and to spot more wheelie bin artworks around her own suburb.