Artist Siya Ghaffari gave himself 48 hours to paint the mural that now covers what once was a huge blank wall in the parking lot of Slackwater Brewing.
With scaffolding, lots of cans of paint, some smooth jazz playing and the encouragement of friend and fellow artist Renee Matheson (of Matheson and Grove Gallery across from Slackwater), Ghaffari almost pulled it off — give or take a day.
“I paint until my body tells me to go to bed,” he said. “The music playing feeds my soul.”
Now a beautiful seascape mural brightens up what was once a boring white wall in the parking lot of the popular brewery.
Painting and grooving to some loud jazz music pumping through a stereo, Ghaffari said this isn’t his first big mural he’s done, but it is perhaps the most enjoyable.
“I’ve done lots of murals under the cover of darkness when I lived in Tehran. Art was very dangerous to do there. They killed artists, film makers, painters and poets. There were two ways you could live in Iran at that time. Close your mouth or fight for freedom. I chose to fight for freedom. I’m so lucky I’m here because a bunch of my friends are not alive today because they fought for freedom.”
Now living in Penticton for the past six years and more than 20 in Canada, he’s loving life under beautiful skies with lakes and art all around him. He also loves the freedom he has to express himself.
Ghaffari’s art can soon be seen at Matheson’s gallery once it is open. Matheson’s original gallery on Martin Street sold, forcing her to find a new space.
“Luckily, I only had to move one business down,” said Matheson, who was also painting alongside Ghaffari.
She was painting a pig poking out of a window of a weathered door, a commissioned piece for Ruby Blues Winery in Naramata.
Ghaffari and Matheson wanted to thank Spot On Painting for donating the scaffolding and Slackwater for wanting to bring Ghaffari’s vision to life.
|Artist Siya Ghaffari tries to keep warm while painting a mural to cover the huge blank wall on the back of Slackwater Brewing. (Monique Tamminga Western News)|
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