Street artist Rhys Fabris' Nelson Bay wall mural turning heads

It began with a misunderstanding between a café owner and a street artist and it has developed into the partial transformation of one of Nelson Bay town centre’s most unsightly laneways.

The giant mural in progress on the outside wall of the Naked Alley Café in Magnus Street, is turning heads as well as creating quite a stir on social media.

The colourful image featuring Port Stephens’ flora and fauna is the brainchild of 30-year-old Bay artist Rhys Fabris. Yet it materialised quite by accident.

“I was contacted by the café manager [Krysten Caimpi] to do a wall painting. I had walked through that alley numerous times and often thought how great a mural would look on those outside walls,” Fabris said.

“However, when I arrived it turned out I had misunderstood … the mural was to be on the inside wall. So then we got talking about the outside wall and eventually I was given the green light.”

MURAL: The Magnus Street alley wall being transformed by street artist Rhys Fabris.

MURAL: The Magnus Street alley wall being transformed by street artist Rhys Fabris.

Fabris said that he was well aware of the magnitude of the project. “I started planning in September. My vision was virtually what one sees when they walk up Tomaree mountain. I will be adding a sunset and possibly a koala.”

Rhys Fabris with cafe manager Krysten Ciampi and the inside wall mural.

Rhys Fabris with cafe manager Krysten Ciampi and the inside wall mural.

Fabris estimates he has already used close to 100 aerosol cans, which at $9 a can makes the project quite expensive.

“I have received some funds and materials from various businesses, but to ensure I can complete the work within the next month or so I have started up a gofundme page.”

Fabris has been assisted by a couple of other popular Bay street artists, Nick Stuart and Jordan Hocking.

In addition to the cafe owner, the artwork also has the support of the business community and Nelson Bay’s Civic Pride group, established to enhance the look of Nelson Bay ‘s CBD, with member Ian Spight saying it gives the area “a more attractive and vibrant look.”