After being out of Perth for sometime I decided a stroll through Fremantle would be a relaxing way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon. This stroll however, led me to the corner of Market Street and South Terrace, better known as the Cappuccino Strip or Horatio’s Wall.
This piece of art displayed on the side of the famous Gino’s, is mesmerising to say the least. It is an intricate overlap of whatever is going through Horatio’s mind at the present time. A mixture of opposing architectural forms from time’s past, the present and the future blending with differing universes, galaxy’s or simply put – what ever you want to be.
After standing, staring at the wall dumbfounded and watching Horatio calmingly sitting contemplating his next line I was apprehensive to talk to him. It was only after he had called me over and exclaimed, “I can also talk you know”, that I said “hi”.
Horatio Birdbath considers himself a creative, not an artist, that possesses quite the quirky yet lovable personality, which you could argue encompasses all things Fremantle. A very likeable character, Horatio answers most questions you fire at him in vague and mysterious ways. Be prepared however, he doesn’t take to too much BS. Just to give you an example, when I was mid conversation we were interrupted by the local Fremantle bikies doing the Cappuccino loop. He paused and said “lets just wait for those needing to compensate for something…”
With wanting to try and find what inspires and drives him, I began to ask him many open questions, expecting to get exactly those answers in return – open, vague and mysterious. So here are some of the questions I asked:
When did you start this work?
“In the beginning and I have been doing it up until now.”
Do you speak another language?
“I don’t need to speak another language, I have the ultimate language” – as he pointed to his art.
Have you ever travelled before?
“My most memorable trip was when I decided to see what was exactly half way around the world from where I was born. It was in Spain, on a farm and under a tree, where I smoked a joint.”
What is your view on age?
“Just go for it – do as much as you can, when you can.”
These questions were just snippets of our conversation. He said what he truly loves about his works is that he has a live audience in which he can interact with. He can at any point in time pause and have a conversation with any one passing by.
So if you have a spare sunny afternoon definitely head to Fremantle, grab a coffee and go check out Horatio’s wall. Spend some time there – see what he is about and say ‘Hi!’ – you wont regret it. Who knows – you may just find some inspiration or your passion!