The Adelaide Star Behind Vans The Omega’s Latest Street Art Mural

You probably wouldn’t be the first person to wonder who the person featured in a gorgeous street art mural is.

We’re all pretty familiar with internationally renowned street artist, Vans The Omega. Whether you’ve stopped to admire his colourful pieces splashed around Adelaide or have walked past none the wiser, flashing the odd smile, there’s no denying his pieces are simply awe-inspiring.

What we often don’t know is the back story behind street art for example, who’s the person behind that freakin’ ginormous mural? Is it a real person? Why them?

We. Finally. Know.

Vans’ latest piece on Gresham Street (home to La BuvetteMississippi Moon and The Bibliotheca Bar & Book Exchange) has just been completed as part of a Splash Adelaide an initiative from the Adelaide City Council to make the city more vibrant. And it’s impressive on a number of fronts. Not only is it incredible to look at (as per usual), it features one of Adelaide’s very own emerging stars, Sonia Bavistock – the face and brains behind Sonia Styling blog.

It turns out Sonia and Vans (Joel Van Moore) have run in the same circle for a over a decade and this all came about like any great idea does… over a glass of bubbles.

“A conversation was sparked last year over champagne and Joel mentioned he’d love to paint me. He came over to my house, took some photos and then began work on the piece”, said Sonia.

And for anyone who follows Sonia on her Instagram account, you’d recognise her from the artwork straight away. Sonia like most of us, has a trademark look which pops up time and time again in her photos.

“He captured my signature pose of course – looking down and smiling”.

For Vans, featuring Sonia on Gresham Street couldn’t have been more perfect. Placing her directly opposite one of her favourite bars, La Buvette, seemed like a no-brainer.

Vans told Glam Adelaide that he chose this particular photo of Sonia because, “it was clear Sonia felt most comfortable in that post and where she was able to really go inward and reach her own happiness.”

“It’s not your typical pose where you’re looking into the person’s eyes or at their profile. The intention was that people look at this and still see how happy she is”.

If you’re unfamiliar with Sonia’s blog, Sonia Styling is a cocktail of fashion, beauty, home and life – all served with a dash of sass, a sprinkling of humour and a generous pour of honesty. She’s appeared in national campaigns for well-known brands such as Schwarzkopf and Katies. 2017 however, is a year for change with Sonia, with the talented writer striking out on her own. As a proud South Aussie she’s now focused on bringing it back home and in addition to her national work, she’s collaborating directly with local brands and businesses. Sonia has also just launched a new business… Socially Styled, a social media and copywriting business.

What we really love about Sonia’s blog is that she’s not the typical fashion blogger posting photos of their $4000 handbag and Mercedes-Benz. Sonia focuses on affordable fashion and accessible homewares while also doing it all from the perspective of a real person with a real body. To top it all, she’s an incredibly approachable person.

How does Sonia feel about having her face plastered two stories high in the CBD? She’s been incredibly modest about the whole experience. So next time you’re in the city, wander down Gresham Street and let Joel’s new artwork remind you of how many talented people we have right here in South Australia. While you’re there you may as well grab a cocktail from La Buvette.

As for Adelaide’s street art scene, it continues to grow and envelop our city. This April the Wonderwalls Street Art Festival returns as testament to South Australia’s love for the public art form.

Port Adelaide will once again become a giant, interactive canvas. Local, national and international artists will transform the Port into an open air gallery with large scale murals, artist talks and entertainment during the free three-day festival from April 21 to 23.
The Wonderwalls festival brings together the best mural artists from around the world and is presented by Renewal SA and the Wonderwalls team headed by festival Direct/ Producer and curator Joel Van Moore, together with City of Port Adelaide Enfield and art suppliers Ironlak and Taubmans.
This year’s line up of artists will include Telmo Miel, Inti, Natalia Rak, Amanda Lynn, Fats, Georgia Hill, Merda, Kab 101, Masika 126, Sam Songailo, Jake Logos, Claire Foxton, Elizabeth Close, Zedr & Fortrose.
As for Vans The Omega himself, there’s a few new pieces in the pipelines for Adelaide to keep your eye out for.
“I have a couple things coming soon to Port Adelaide as well as a couple more large scale works that will be in the CBD in near future.”
“In April Wonderwalls is here again and then I’ll be working on a project in NSW and heading off to paint where ever the wind takes me.”
Well… there you have it folks. You now know the simple, down-to-earth back story to one of Adelaide’s gorgeous murals. Tell your friends.


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