By Lorraine Ellis
So sort after is his work, that glue is not a deterrent to some street art connoisseurs! He is the most stolen (successful or otherwise) artist in the country!
This has forced Will to change the composition of the concrete used in the casting of his sculptures but, sadly, his work still suffers a lot of damage.
Originally from Suffolk, Will settled in Sydney in 1996. The grandson of a professional sculptor, he studied at the Glasgow and Wimbledon schools of art in the UK.
In 2007, motivated by an unsuccessful entry in the Sydney by the Sea Sculpture Prize, Will placed his TV sets along the foreshore anyway. It was some time before it was discovered that they weren’t actually in the competition! And thus began Will’s career as a street artist!
A favourite spot for this prolific artist was at the base of the now-demolished, Sydney monorail. Unfortunately, these pieces were to become a repository for chewing gum and cigarette butts!
Bodacious placement is Will’s stock-in-trade. For example, his sculpture Photographed was glued in place during a busy lunch-time on Elizabeth St.
He is also one of the all-too-few street artists whose work is other than decorative. Most of his sculptures have a political or social comment behind them.
A frequent visitor to Melbourne, sometimes in conjunction with an exhibition, Will generously bestows his whimsical work on CBD streets and lanes and a trip down them will reveal many of his pieces.
You may chance upon a pigeon or a balaclava head, some fries and a hamburger or a very well endowed teddy bear!
Suburbs for a bit more Will Coles spotting are Fitzroy, East Brunswick, Collingwood and Windsor.
Will, it should be noted, is an entrant in this year’s McClelland Sculpture Awards at McClelland Sculpture Park and Gallery, Langwarrin.