The mural, erected on the front of Brunetti Oro on Flinders Lane in Melbourne CBD, was created by the very same 25-year-old Melbourne comedian and artist, Casey Gothard, who went viral for her fairy bread artwork of Dan Andrews during lockdown.While Gothard says that one was just for fun, this mural has a deeper meaning: it’ll help raise funds for the country’s leading digital mental health service, ReachOut.com. “In 2020 we were thrilled with the support and funds raised for ReachOut through Fairy Bread Day,” said Tracey Campbell, Director of Marketing and Fundraising at ReachOut. “These donations allow ReachOut to provide support for even more young people and their parents when it comes to their mental health.”Now, clearly, a sprinkle-laden Kath & Kim mural is a genius idea, so we caught up with Gothard to get a little insight to her inspiration.What’s your earliest memory with fairy bread? Though I have no one singular memory of fairy bread, I do remember as a child planting myself next to the food table and shovelling down as much fairy bread as possible. It was hands down my favourite party food, though these days party pies are a strong contender. What inspired you to start creating art with bread, particularly fairy bread?You would think there would be a particular moment or some spark of inspiration. But to be honest, one day, literally out of nowhere my brain went “you need to make Dan Andrews out of fairy bread” and that idea simply would not leave until I created it. It just sat at the front of my head for days during lockdown. A few things inspired me to make the mural, yes one was boredom, there is only so many bloody walks one person can go on before they go insane. But mainly, I started doing stand up comedy earlier this year and absolutely fell in love with it, and have been doing a lot better than expected in the scene. Making people laugh and feel something is what truly inspires me in life. The only time I have been able to elicit the same reaction in people is with my art.I had been searching for a way to combine my comedy and art for a while, and when this idea popped into my head, it simply wouldn’t get out until I made it. I have always admired and loved how Australians use humour to communicate, and how my generation uses memes and satire to consume economic and political information. I also love that this work will deteriorate just like many politicians have over this pandemic. It’s not a comment on my political standing, but more on our political climate, the humour behind it and the fact that our country can identify a premier made out of fairy bread.I like and therefore continued using bread as a medium, as it has a life and mind of its own. Unlike classic mediums, bread goes stale, it curls, it tears. So as the artwork ages it changes and grows and develops. I also like that it is not permanent, that the work can really only exist for a short period of time. What do you do for work now?I actually work in the marketing department of asset management — a branch of finance — which is hilarious to me as I never studied finance or money or wearing suits.At the moment though my main artistic outlet is comedy. I’m a stand up comedian, so telling jokes and making people laugh has been my main form of artistic expression currently. But adding in the art and the TikTok element has really made me feel like I’ve hit my stride and found a combination of art and comedy that makes me feel whole as a person. What has life been like since your Dan Andrews art went viral?Both strangely normal, but abnormally different. I got offered a lot of better comedy gigs than previously, which has meant I have been able to improve that craft. But the best is that at least 10 people have recognised me, which in the small community world of South Melbourne makes you a little celebrity. I keep telling my younger cousins that I’m a TikTok influencer now, so they need to respect me more – thus far no respect has ensued. What was the inspo for tackling Kath & Kim?I just love them, so SO much. Too much perhaps. They are the cultural and social glue that holds us together. The perfect display of Australian culture. To the people who say Australia has no culture, I urge you to watch Kath & Kim. You still won’t believe Australia has any culture whatsoever, but you may understand us just a tad more. I didn’t want it to look like a political statement so Kath and Kim were the obvious choice, how can you not love those ladies? And what better way to create a nice, unusual and different piece of art, than to plaster two Aussie icons for the whole of Melbourne to see.Also, Halloween costume competitions are what fuel me in this world … [and this year] I look too much like Kim [not to have dressed up as her]. What does ReachOut mean to you?As a young person who lived through Covid, my mental health was really tested. I was surprised at the struggles that I faced personally. I had never experienced real troubles regarding my mental health until then. I struggled quite badly for months without acknowledging or reaching out to the people I loved. It felt shameful to admit I wasn’t where I wanted to be mentally.The taboo notion of mental illness is something that prevented me from getting help, and by making something fun and topical, I hope to take away a bit of that. Mental health is something I think as a society we need to really focus on and ReachOut is a platform and a tool that really does help people in need. Will there be a Kath & Kim fairy bread shirt in your store any time soon?I can’t specifically say, but yes!
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