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SA welcomes the Mural Nomad

Mural Nomad
Melissa Smith
Patrycja Hannagan, known affectionately as PJ or the Mural Nomad, is on a unique mission to brighten up the dreary walls of Australia, one mural at a time.
Born in Poland and raised in Italy, PJ studied at an art academy before embarking on a journey that led her to Australia almost a decade ago. Diving into business studies and working as an account manager she realised that art was her passion and it needed to be fed. The universe then dished up a serving of chaos, opportunity and love which saw her and her husband Ben facing an unexpected challenge during the Brisbane floods, leading them to convert a van into a portable home.

Already with a passion for van life, partner Ben took frequent trips as a Flow State Instructor for his business “Active Skills”, teaching kids up and down the Queensland coast benefits of flow arts such as juggling. PJ agreed to do “the crazy van thing” and they’ve not looked back from their leap of faith into a life of adventure, releasing them from the conventional 9-5 rat race.

The “1Trip100Murals,” project sees PJ travelling around Australia with a goal to paint 100 murals along the way. It all began in Airlie Beach just after they took off from Brisbane. Having left over paint from her Brisbane jobs stacked in the van, she advertised through Facebook asking if anyone wanted a mural. PJ said the feedback was overwhelming, “I got six jobs in the first week, so I did those and then bought more paint!”

Supporting Mental Health Through Art

Through her mural project, PJ supports mental health initiatives by donating $100 from every mural to Black Dog Institute, contributing to the expansion of mental health treatment. So far she has completed 65 murals.

PJ also wants to start conversations and bring attention to the connection between our surroundings and its impact on mental well-being. Having completed a mural at Darwin Hospital for the Mental Health Unit, PJ saw first-hand the impact her work and art had on staff and patients, who were actively involved, approaching the window to observe her creative process. The mural transformed their mundane view into a stunning piece of art, providing them with a source of enjoyment. Nurses commented that the mural ignited connections among patients who would often remain silent but found common ground in discussing her artwork.

Toybox Community Childcare Centre, Port Lincoln

A Call for Collaboration in SA

PJ’s trip has finally brought her to our beautiful state of South Australia, with plans to stay for a few months, on good advice to stick around for SA’s iconic Fringe Festival.

Already having completed her first SA Mural, a breathtaking piece adorning the walls of Toybox Community Childcare Centre at Port Lincoln, PJ effortlessly incorporated elements of local scenery, including sea lions, a glorious sunset and Viterra Silos. It’s a testament to her ability to include local surrounds, community and values into pieces of vibrant art.

As part of her community-minded approach, PJ is reaching out to anyone in South Australia who is interested in mural collaborations from community groups, private residences, schools, retail spaces, or even silo projects – a new challenge she is excited to explore, following the completion of her water tank projects in Western Australia.

Water Tank Project, Western Australia

In PJ’s words, “Whether you want to brighten your home, inspire children at school, bring your community together, or build brand awareness for your new business, a mural is the perfect way to do it. I’m passionate about creating visuals that brighten up the world.”

To learn more about PJ, get a free quote and follow her extraordinary venture as well as her mentorship program for artists, visit her website here.



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