ROCKAMORA Workshop: Encaustic Earwax Painting

29 July 2023
Kaspar and Koruna Schmidt Mumm working with wax to make ROCKAMORA.
Kaspar and Koruna Schmidt Mumm working with wax to make ROCKAMORA.

Join Kaspar Schmidt Mumm and his mother, Koruna Schmidt Mumm, for an encaustic wax workshop inspired by ROCKAMORA.


Adelaide Contemporary Experimental

29 July 2023

1:00pm to 3:00pm


Collect and use ‘Rockamora’s' earwax* to create your own artwork in this one-off workshop by Kaspar Schmidt Mumm and his mother, Koruna Schmidt Mumm.

In this performative, process driven workshop, Kaspar and Koruna will guide participants through the varied use of wax, teaching the techniques of moulding, mixing, pouring, and scenting wax. 

Koruna is an artist that uses art as a therapeutic tool to promote well being and social connections. She has a deep knowledge of natural inks and dyes, which she uses in combinations with wax to create intricate encaustic paintings. These techniques are central to both Koruna and Kaspar’s shared cultural heritage. 

The imaginative and unconventional use of ‘earwax’ as a medium for art-making challenges traditional notions of how materials can be interpreted. By focussing on process-based art making, Kaspar and Koruna aim to share with participants the idea of art making as a therapeutic tool for self-care and community building, particularly in contexts where healing and rehabilitation are necessary.

Both artists use their arts practices as tools for rehabilitation around the world. Influenced by his mother’s own art therapy programs in hospitals, aged care and community centres, Kaspar’s practice is based in a belief in the rehabilitative qualities of art. 

Named after Koruna’s primary school bully, ‘Rockamora’ is a thug taking a bath in the gallery. By feeding, cleaning and caring for this bully, ROCKAMORA encourages us to empathise with a larger-than-life, misunderstood antagonist as a way to counter lived experiences of harassment and discrimination.

The sculpture itself is made from the discarded paper and materials of local businesses. Environmental consciousness is at the forefront of Kaspar’s practice, and he is passionate about teaching others how to use natural materials, like wax and dyes.

Each participant will receive 250g of wax, pigments, tools and various other materials, and will are encouraged to take their work home with them. 

*Earwax is not literally earwax.

Feature Image: Kaspar and Koruna Schmidt Mumm (2022), 'ROCKAMORA' work in progress. Photography by Emmaline Zanelli. Courtesy Kaspar Schmidt Mumm.

  • Kaspar and Koruna Schmidt Mumm working together on the ear of Rockamora. Both are laughing.
  • Kaspar Schmidt Mumm working on the teeth of Rockamora. In the background sits Rockamora's skeletal head.
  • Two people working on ROCKAMORA in the skeleton stage.
  • Two helpers working on ROCKAMORA in the papier-mâché stage of the build. Camera focused on an ear.
  • Kaspar Schmidt Mumm paints ear of Rockamora. His back is to the camera. His t-shirt says 'The Bait Fridge'.
  • Koruna Schmidt Mumm reaching up to paint above Rockamora's ear.
Kaspar and Koruna Schmidt Mumm working together on the ear of Rockamora. Both are laughing.


Kaspar Schmidt Mumm

Kaspar Schmidt Mumm is the 2023 recipient of the Porter Street Commission – ACE’s annual award supporting new artwork commissions by South Australian artists.

Presented as part of the South Australian Living Artists (SALA) Festival.

This project is supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, and the South Australian Government through Arts South Australia.

ACE tampinthi, ngadlu Kaurna yartangka panpapanpalyarninthi (inparrinthi). Kaurna miyurna yaitya mathanya Wama Tarntanyaku. Parnaku yailtya, parnaku tapa purruna, parnaku yarta ngadlu tampnthi. Yalaka Kaurna miyurna itu yailtya, tapa purruna, yarta kuma puru martinthi, puru warri-apinthi, puru tangka martulayinthi.

ACE respectfully acknowledges the traditional Country of the Kaurna people of the Adelaide Plains and pays respect to Elders past and present. We recognise and respect their cultural heritage, beliefs and relationship with the land. We acknowledge that they are of continuing importance to the Kaurna people living today.