Owen Cavanagh's famous surf mural, which sits next to the Sunshine Motorway at Coolum, has been vandalised three times. Picture: Supplied
Owen Cavanagh's famous surf mural, which sits next to the Sunshine Motorway at Coolum, has been vandalised three times. Picture: Supplied

Loved mural ‘hard to fix’ after past vandalism

The artist of an iconic Sunshine Coast mural targeted by vandals for a third time this month says returning the monument to its former glory won't be easy.

Owen Cavanagh's famous surf mural, which sits next to the Sunshine Motorway at Coolum, has been vandalised three times, most recently on August 6.

The mural has since been covered by a tarp to hide the graffiti that was plastered across it.

'Show some respect': Vandals target iconic mural

Mr Cavanagh said returning the artwork to its former glory would be difficult due to the amount of touch ups done on the painting in the past.

"There is a few logistics we have to go through because … of its age, everything is flaking off and its had various coats of graffiti and different paints and so forth so it's not just a matter of going in and touching it up," he said.

"One of the original layers used to fix the graffiti is actually the layer of paint that's giving way, it's bubbling and carrying on and that makes it harder to go in and touch it up and move forward.

"I'd like to get it back to its original glory as soon as possible so we can all enjoy it like it never happened … It breaks my heart and seeing it covered."

 

Artist Owen Cavanagh's mural was covered after being vandalised. Picture: Patrick Woods.
Artist Owen Cavanagh's mural was covered after being vandalised. Picture: Patrick Woods.

Just a week prior to the vandalism it was announced the iconic painting would be preserved after the cane shed it was attached to was removed for safety reasons.

The local artist said it was "gut-wrenching" to see it vandalised once again.

"It's disheartening that someone wants to deface it all the time the level of respect is low I'd say," Mr Cavanagh said.

 

Artist Owen Cavanagh's mural next to the Sunshine Motorway. Picture: Patrick Woods
Artist Owen Cavanagh's mural next to the Sunshine Motorway. Picture: Patrick Woods

He said the painting may have to be completely re-done to fix the recent round of graffiti.

"We could look at removing the paint they've (the vandals) put on but it's not that easy, if we try a pressure washer it's going to go everywhere," he said.

"I think it may have to get re-sheeted and get redone from scratch so it's going to last and give it the proper protection it needs for the future."

Re-painting the Old Woman Island inspired mural would take Mr Cavanagh a week, but he said the hard work would be worth it.

"It brings so many people so much joy and it's an honour to be a part," he said.

Mr Cavanagh said he is unsure of when the painting, located on the Sunshine Coast airport's land will be fixed.


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