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Canberra-based artist turns carpark into a work of art

Man smiling against a large painting with luminescent colours.
Tommy Balogh has turned an entire wall in a carpark into a 12-metre-long vibrant landscape painting.

Supplied: Sarah Walker Photography

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Carparks may not be the most appealing of places, although those familiar with a certain one in Canberra might beg to differ.

People passing through the Citywest Carpark are bound to see ticket machines and grocery stores, but they will also bare witness to luminous artwork.

"Basically it started a couple of years ago," artist Tommy Balogh told ABC's Jolene Laverty.

"I was making a large live artwork, a six-metre work in width by three metres tall, and there I met a curious guy with a dog.

Mr Balogh has since gone on to transform the carpark into a luminescent work of art.

"It's so unorthodox it's not funny," he said, taking in his surroundings.

"But it's really exciting because with these kind of vacant commercial spaces, it's a wonderful opportunity for people who have that creative passion to create artworks and engage with the community at large."

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YOUTUBE: Tommy Balogh's art

Carpark captures interest from Vivid International

Mr Balogh's vibrant artworks have enticed many people through his doors, as well gaining the interest of Vivid International's founders.

They were doing lectures at ANU, and like a moth drawn to bright light, they approached Mr Balogh and invited him to Germany for a three-month residency.

"I was like, 'you've got to be kidding me'."

Since his recent return, Mr Balogh said he had an array of inspiring ideas he hoped to implement in Canberra.

Artwork continues to expand

Luminescent artwork
Tommy Balogh's artwork has also featured in the Canberra Symphony Orchestra's Australian Series.

Supplied: Sarah Walker Photography

His artworks are displayed on plexiglass and using photoluminescence media he is able to bring them to life.

"At the moment there's a lighting rig, and that lighting rig is basically reacting with the music and it's activating the artwork so it's kind of breathing," he said.

"It's a wonderful interplay with physical media and light, because I think there's a wonderful potential between the two; you can create many different artworks within one artwork. That's what's so special about it.

The artwork has continued to expand within the carpark, moving from the bottom floor into the elevators and then onto the fourth floor.

"I'm slowly spreading out into the building, and ultimately we want to convert the spaces and make them living breathing spaces and inspire people.

"It's one of those magical moments and when you're given this opportunity you really have to work hard and you have to put everything into it otherwise it can dissipate.

"But what I want from this is to create those beautiful spaces, and it's like a legacy for the carpark and my work at large."