Montana is a ray of sunshine. She spreads light and positivity whilst raising awareness on issues impacting us and the world. She's recently lunched her new non for profit organisation Murals for Change. We find out what it's all about.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, who you are and what excites you?
Hey! I’m Montana! An environmental engineer, artist and model. Nothing excites me more than creating meaningful change and surrounding myself with likeminded people.. If I can do all that in nature, I’m pretty stoked!
You are just about to launch your non-for-profit organisation Murals for Change. Can you tell us about this?
Yes please! Murals for Change is about connecting people with causes they’re passionate about while painting murals, making friends and learning how to create meaningful change in their every day lives. It’s a place to have the tough conversations in a positive way that actually helps with solving them, from climate change, mental health, equality, ethical fashion, sustainable living, menstruation awareness.. you name it!
What sparked your inspiration to create this project?
While being pregnant, a lot of people have asked me how I feel about creating life in the current state of the world.. I joke, “Great! I’m raising my own army!” Haha. This whole project is about nurturing our inner child - the one that isn’t scared to stand up and be different, to say what we think and believe we can do anything it takes to prove it.
It’s also really important for me to create a space for art that isn’t just for ‘artists’ or ‘professionals’. Commercial art is great and there’s a lot to be admired about the technical skill, but to me it will never compare to capturing the feeling of a collective group of people that are realising they can do anything they put their mind to - whether it be painting a huge wall or solving climate change.
What are you hoping to achieve and what would your ideal goal be for Murals for Change?
To spread light as far and wide as possible. There’s a lot of angst in the world. I created this project to not only prove the changes we need can be made - but we can have a fun time doing it!
You’re a big believer in creating with intent. Can you tell us what this means to you?
The first step I teach in the mural workshops are about ‘connection'. With each other, the earth and ourselves. I remind people of this because it’s of my belief that if we are making decisions from this space first and foremost, I can’t really see where things can go wrong? To me, this is what it means to create with intent.
You bring sunshine into the world with your art. A lot of us have seen your sunflower paintings floating around on instagram. Do you see art as therapy and a way to heal?
Definitely. Art is always good for you - whether it brings out the joy or frustration. It creates a direct pathway from your brain, through your heart, to your fingertips and shows what’s going on inside. It’s this same principle that lead me to use ‘artivism’, which combines art and activism. Just like our minds, the earth is a complex system. And if we can use art to unravel our world's issues and address them with creativity - we’re already streets ahead!
You have such a great passion for conservation and activism, when did this begin?
I’ve been raised in coexistence with nature. From a village in Fiji to far north Queensland and now living in the hinterlands of Byron bay. Living in these small towns and their transparency taught me a really deep appreciation for how what we do impacts the world around us. Fighting for that has always been second nature.
Where can we see your murals? And how can we get involved with the project?
Right now I’ve got a few around Byron and Melbourne, but I’m planning to do collaborative mural workshops around Australia next year with my little family in our bus - so keep posted! I’m actually running a crowd funder to allow us to do this and bring it to the people who really need it (not just the ones who can afford it).
Your first Murals for Change workshop sold out. How did it feel to receive such a welcoming response?
A relief to know others care, too. That’s for sure!
What can we expect from your workshops?
To feel more connected and hopeful about the future. And to definitely feel a lot more confident about creating art - whether it be for yourself, doing murals in your own town or painting the life of your dreams!
What’s next for Montana and Murals for Change?
We’ve got a few workshops in Byron coming up at the start of next year before we start our Australia tour. So lots and lots of organising, painting and spreading sunshine. I hope to see you all on the ride!
Tell us what we need to know about the Murals For Change launch:
I'll be launching MFC in Byron because it's where the idea was born. It's so important for me to give back to my local community. I want the event to be a huge 'Thanks for making it feel safe to dream.. This is what I did with it!". It'll also be to build on the online fundraiser.
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