Kaff-eine is one of Australia’s premiere female street and contemporary artists. She paints her distinctive characters on walls around the globe, immersing herself in local communities and sharing their stories on their walls. While painting street murals in Manila shantytowns in 2013, Kaff-eine learned that some of Manila’s most impoverished slum communities lived on Manila’s garbage dumps, scavenging wood to burn for charcoal, picking through the toxic garbage, selling recyclables or creating recycled products from waste.
She was struck by the creativity, resilience, positivity and skill of these communities, who created beautiful objects and valuable resources in the most challenging conditions; she wanted to work with them, to share their strengths, stories and humanity with audiences far from the Manila slums.
‘Kalabaw’ is the special prelude to two extraordinary collaborative projects Kaff-eine will soon undertake with Manila’s garbage-picking and charcoal-making communities. For ‘Kalabaw’, Kaff-eine has created a collection of powerful portraits combining her signature street-based style with intricate realism, her human and kalabaw characters radiating the same resilience, tenderness and dignity that they do in reality.
All proceeds from the ‘Kalabaw’ exhibition will support Kaff-eine’s two subsequent collaborative projects with the communities who live from Manila’s garbage.
Opening this week at ‘fortyfivedownstairs’, Flinders Lane, Melbourne.