Politics

This Melbourne Artist Is Sending A Strong Message To Pauline Hanson

"Racism won't be tolerated in Melbourne's west."

Many see her as the face of modern racism in Australia, and in a new piece of street art in Melbourne’s west, that face is being pissed on by a dog.

Melbourne artist Van T. Rudd has created a political mural this week, and you don’t need a Sparks Notes guide to art to decipher its meaning. However, in a statement on his Facebook page, the artist did give us a brief window into the motivation behind his art: “I wanted to show that racism and extreme right-wing politics won’t be tolerated in Melbourne’s west. And shouldn’t be tolerated anywhere of course.”

The artist and activist — who is also the nephew of former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd — is no stranger to generating controversy. Rudd made headlines with his 2009 artwork criticising transport company Connex for its links to Israel, and his anti-racism protest on Australia Day 2010 in which he dressed in a Klu Klux Klan outfit.

Photo via The ABC

Despite what was widely reported as a disastrous campaign in the recent Western Australian elections, Pauline Hanson and One Nation are still a growing and influential political force. Their rise can be seen as being emblematic of Australia’s shift to the right, characterised by our anti-immigration policies. It’s no surprise then that Hanson is drawing the ire of our political artists and satirists.

The bulldog doing his business is not only a cute dog, but also the mascot of the Western Bulldogs, an AFL team popular in Footscray, the Melbourne suburb in which the mural has been painted. Footscray is known as being a very diverse and multicultural suburb.

Van T. Rudd adds that the local council has not approved the mural, however the owner of the wall  “was keen to have something like this up”. If you’d like to see the mural, it’s close to corner of Barkley and Donald streets in Footscray.

Feature image via Van T Rudd/ Facebook