Kaff-eine is a storyteller who creates street art, contemporary art and film to share stories with audiences around the globe.
A former equestrian instructor, tree-lopper, public servant and lawyer, she left the office to concentrate on her art in 2012. Since then, she has painted public walls and private commissions across Australia, Germany, France, USA and the Philippines; exhibited in successful solo and group exhibitions; collaborated on paintings with groups as diverse as recently-arrived refugees, remote outback farming communities, remote Indigenous communities; slum residents, and street art festival-goers; and illustrated three children’s books (Vera and The Promise, Scholastic; and Heartcore, Berry Street). In 2016 Kaff-eine co-founded the international creative collective Cheeseagle, in which she is a creative director and the lead artist. Cheeseagle has produced four exhibitions and two documentaries, including the award-winning feature film Happyland (2017), which follows Kaff-eine’s unique art-as-housing project with the notorious Happyland dumpsite slum community in Manila, Philippines.
In 2017, Kaff-eine was one of six street artists invited to paint on decommissioned wheat silos for the Silo Art Trail, Australia’s largest outdoor art gallery; she painted a young proud female shepherdess, and a gentle horseman on the silos in Rosebery (population 4-9), Victoria.
Kaff-eine’s watercolour portrait of Stanislava Pinchuk (Miso) is currently a finalist in the 2018 Black Swan Prize for Portraiture.
Kaff-eine is currently interested in exploring the potential for expanding her creative social impact projects; working and collaborating in remote communities; and further developing her street art as a storytelling medium.
ABOUT THE ARTWORK
When Kaff-eine was invited to paint a mural for the Top End’s first Sugarbag Festival, she was immediately inspired by the the regions iconic wild and strong buffaloes. She wanted to honour the power & character of the Top End’s LGBTQIA+ communities by painting her signature ‘deerhunter’ characters with a Territorian twist; broad, masculine buffalo skulls and limbs were the perfect choice.
The two buffalo-characters meet on the wall with strong buffalo energy. Are they wrapped in a firm embrace? Lovingly holding up each other? Locked in a wrestling grip, in combat?
Elegant and quiet but full of tension, the action is deliberately obscure, as are the gender and sex of the characters. Rather than focus on what the image ‘is’ or what it ‘means’, Kaff enjoyed painting an image that encourages emotional reactions from audiences. She loved chatting with viewers about their first responses to the mural, and their interpretations about how queer love and relationships were reflected in the piece.
These special Top End buffalo-characters are best viewed on clear afternoons about an hour before sunset, when sunlight reflected from nearby buildings lights up the their metallic gold details.
Follow Kaff-Eine on Instagram HERE
Mural Location: Litchfield Street Darwin, on the side wall of the Cavenagh Hotel