Artist Owen Cavanagh's mural on the side of a Coolum shed has been the subject to graffiti vandalism overnight. Picture: Patrick Woods
Artist Owen Cavanagh's mural on the side of a Coolum shed has been the subject to graffiti vandalism overnight. Picture: Patrick Woods

'Show some respect': Vandals target iconic mural

An iconic Sunshine Coast mural has been targeted by vandals just one week after work began to preserve the monument which has been standing for almost 20 years.

Artist Owen Cavanagh's famous surf mural was covered with a tarp on Thursday morning in an effort to hide the graffiti that was plastered across it overnight.

Mr Cavanagh said it was "gut-wrenching" to see his artwork vandalised for a third time, especially after it had so recently been celebrated.

Last week, it was announced the iconic painting of Mudjimba Island, which sits next to the Sunshine Motorway at Coolum, would be preserved after the cane shed it was attached to was removed for safety reasons.

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It’s understood council workers covered the mural to not give the vandal any recognition. Picture: Patrick Woods
It’s understood council workers covered the mural to not give the vandal any recognition. Picture: Patrick Woods

"I'm still a bit gobsmacked that (the vandalism) has even happened," Mr Cavanagh said.

"Show some respect. There's a code that graffiti artists follow by not to go over anyone's work."

Mr Cavanagh told the Daily that when he heard about the vandalism he asked Division 8 Councillor Jason O'Pray to make sure it was covered up.

"They shouldn't be publicised for this," he said.

He said the mural would have to be re-painted as soon as possible in order to return it to its former glory.

"I'd like to get it back to it's original glory as soon as possible so we can all enjoy it like it never happened," Mr Cavanagh said.

Dr O'Pray said the vandalism had been referred to police for further investigation.

"We are working with the artist to investigate options to see the mural restored and protected against future acts of vandalism," he said.

Owen Cavanagh in front of his famous surf mural.
Owen Cavanagh in front of his famous surf mural.

According to Mr Cavanagh, the mural began with a carton of beer and a goal to share his art with the community.

"A friend suggested that the shed would be a great spot for a mural, so I met with the owner at the time and before I knew it, I'd finished the mural and paid for the privilege with a carton," he said last week.

"In 2011, I gave the mural a 10th birthday present and repainted the whole thing because the weather had taken its toll.

"I've also had to repaint parts that were defaced with graffiti, much to the dismay of the public who, it turns out, have a deep passion for the artwork."

He said he couldn't be happier that the mural was going to stay in its original position for the foreseeable future.

"I am reminded how much people love and appreciate the wave mural, from kids to adults, on a weekly basis," Mr Cavanagh said.

Anyone with information that will assist police with their investigation has been urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.