art lingers after it vanishes

Jackson Lavell-LeeAugusta Margaret River Times
Email Jackson Lavell-Lee
Ian Mutch's Beach Blanket at Bunker Bay Photo: Christian Flectcher
Camera IconIan Mutch's Beach Blanket at Bunker Bay Photo: Christian Flectcher

Dunsborough artist Ian Mutch is no stranger to big ideas but his latest collaboration with esteemed photographer Christian Fletcher is a sight to behold.

Mutch is an award-winning illustrator and painter whose designs you may know from the Dunsborough township or a walk to the end of Busselton Jetty.

His recent Beach Drawings collaboration with Fletcher involves using a rake and sand as a medium to design a large temporary drawing of his unique characters to tell a simple story while Fletcher captures the giant piece with a drone.

“I just love drawing characters and telling stories in my artworks and I always come back to the cartoons because they are so whimsical and childlike,” Mutch said.

“People connect with the simplicity and because we have such beautiful beaches it made sense to draw on them like a canvas.”

The scale of the designs are simply astounding. Fletcher uses a person, waves and cliff faces to illustrate the sheer size of these incredible drawings through perfectly balanced photographs.

“Christian is really good at using light and texture and I really like how the drawings don’t remain for ever — they’re there one day and gone the next,” he said.

Mutch’s Head in the Sand at Wyadup Rocks has rocketed to internet stardom and when shared by the Times on Facebook had almost 5000 engagements. “Head in the Sand was created just a few days before the COVID-19 lockdown in WA and to me there was plenty of confusion at the time and some weird things in society.

“Silly stuff like panic-buying and different political points of view created chaos in terms of something that was out of our control,” he said.

“It could be a comment on our political leaders, or those of us that did not want to take this health issue seriously, but to me it was a little comment on the entire human race.”

The ongoing collaboration of two of Dunsborough’s finest visual artists relies heavily on perfect conditions with tides washing a t the drawings and wind buffeting the photographer’s drone.

“My very first one was at Bunker Bay, called beach blanket because it uses the water as if it was a blanket, meaning don’t sleep on climate change. We are always at the mercy of the elements.”

A video of Mutch’s creative process is at www.ianmutch.com and the still images can be viewed at the Christian Fletcher Gallery.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails