I’ve recently returned from a trip to the Steiermark region of Austria. Besides being known as the birthplace of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Steiermark is home to many regional legends and mythical creatures. One of the more specific of these figures is The Budlmuada. According to the locals, the Budlmuada (sometimes spelled “Pudelmuata”) arrives at the door on the evening of the 6th of January to scare the beejezus out of children by throwing nuts and sweets into the room and making a quick exit.
I’ve been to the region a couple of times before to participate in the KOMM.ST art festival, but this is the first time that I’ve collaborated with the organizers on a concept. I didn’t know a thing about this character before arriving and it was great to hear the locals describe their experiences of family members disguising themselves at an old witch and terrorizing them each winter.
The mural exists in deepest Austria at a beautiful old farmhouse called Trummerhof. The property includes art studios, galleries, and is sometimes used as a music venue. If you’re ever in the Austrian countryside, please go there and ask to sit on the beer bench. It’s great for bird watching.
Thank you to the KOMM.ST festival for inviting me, the kind hosts at Trummerhof for taking such good care of me, and the wonderful people of Steiermark for their support, insight, and encouragement.
Below is the finished mural and some photos of the process. It was made with acrylic paint on top of a latex primed concrete slab, approx. 6’x2’.