“Wear it Purple has a central message, that you have the right to be proud of who you are. It’s a day for everyone and it’s a day of acceptance, and so that’s why coming out of a very dark place of youth suicides, it’s now transformed into a very positive day of acceptance in schools” she says.
Katherine continues to be a strong voice for the rights of LGBTI people, and for the awareness of youth suicide and bullying.
Of all the careers Kaff-eine has had in her time – horse-riding instructor, lawyer, tree lopper and public servant included – street artist is the one that has stuck. Since 2010 she has garnered a strong following among Australian and international street art lovers and art collectors, who are drawn to her illustrative freehand style, delicate linework and quiet melancholic characters.
As someone who has experienced that discrimination first hand, Kaffeine is proud to help LGBTI people feel more accepted through this mural, featuring Katherine and other rainbow youth.
Says Kaffeine, “Wear it Purple is such a beautiful, simple response to something that's a really pressing concern.”
As a visual artist, that simplicity speaks volumes to her. “It doesn't need language- it’s just wearing a colour, that says hey, I’m with you, I stand with you. It’s part of what street art does. To see something where there was a blank wall, and now there is a big image. You walk down the street, and you’re not expecting to see a big show of support. You turn the corner and you go, wow, look at that.”
Colour plays a big part in Kaff-eine’s work and the powerful symbolism behind Wear It Purple is not lost on her. “Purple is not a primary colour. You can't make purple without the combining of two colours. And the movement to stem the tide of young people killing themselves requires more than one person. People have to come together. People from different backgrounds.”
The symbolism is made more powerful by way the Wear it Purple organisation is run. “I love that Katherine talks about how one person can’t carry this. The movement has grown from the combination of people.”