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Rocking the garden: 13-year-old’s paintbrush spreads Fairfield’s neighbourly vibe

Anna Kiepzmann’s rock painting has brought praise from her karate instructor and the community
The rock painted by Anna Kiepzmann. (Courtesy of David Da Silva)

Victoria’s Fairfield neighbourhood likes to pride itself on being one of those wholesome communities where everyone knows each other by their first name – and David Da Silva has the rocks to prove it.

A karate instructor and hobby gardener, Da Silva has been living in the community for 14 years. Scattered throughout his garden are rocks that have been painted to add a certain aesthetic. One rock is a little more special than the others due to the person behind the brush.

Four years ago, Anna Kiepzmann, 13, started training at the karate academy where Da Silva is an instructor.

“Me and my friends started working in his garden cutting weeds and watering the plants when he’s not around,” Kiepzmann explained.

According to Da Silva, Kiepzmann eventually inquired about the painted rocks and asked if she could do one herself. Da Silva obliged and brought her the absolute biggest rock he could find, a testament to how much he respects the help she’s given him over the last year.

“She’s been coming every other day to help me water the garden so now she does that but also does actual gardening. She’s like a champ out there and she’s helped me out a ton,” Da Silva said.

The inspiration behind Kiepzmann’s rock is Da Silva’s character home and his great garden laying right in front. The colour is bold, the intricacies of the house are represented, and to top it all off, the painting is very smooth.

Other people in Fairfield seem to agree. People will stop when passing by just to appreciate it.

“People will walk by and stop to look at it and I’ve even gotten asked about it. When I tell them the person who did the painting is only 13, they’re not expecting it and then start praising it,” Da Silva said.

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