Born in South Africa and now based in Dunsborough with his family, Ian Mutch draws inspiration from landscapes, animals, travelling, stories and patterns. Look closely at his large-scale murals and you’ll find delightful details – skulls, a ship’s captain, burgers, fish, whales, guitars. The maritime theme – including whales – continues through Mutch’s work, influenced by life on Geographe Bay.
Working with a combination of aerosol, acrylics and inks, Ian merges layers of textures, landscapes, nature and character illustrations. “I often paint nature, landscapes, characters and stories, and include lots of ink details that can be viewed close up. One of my first artworks portraying this style was a dreamy whale passing through the Bay.”
The life-sized whales on the Busselton Jetty is another stunning example of his work best viewed from above. The artwork depicts the migratory whales that can be spotted in Geographe Bay – the Humpback, Southern Right and Blue Whale. “They’re painted full scale so visitors can appreciate how large they really are.
An estimated 35,000 whales pass through Geographe Bay each Spring as they make their annual migration from the “maternity ward in the Kimberley” back to the feeding grounds of Antarctica.
“I like seeing the whales passing by the Cape. Sometimes I’ll see them on a surf check, or I’ll go and visit some favourite lookout spots with my kids. I’ve also seen some close up suddenly while paddle boarding, which is cool. In my artworks I like portraying them as friendly giants. The kind that have enough power to knock over a bus if you get in their way.”
Ian Mutch’s latest artwork can be purchased here.