Hidden public art, now gone

The artwork in question

I discovered this large painting – about three metres high – nearly ten years ago when I was visiting James Cook University regularly for meetings in Monkhouse Road. Asking other JCU regulars about it, then or more recently, has been quite unproductive: no-one I have shown my photo to has known it at all.

Its location is the reason.

If I happened to be early for my meeting, or have time afterwards, I would sometimes continue on foot up the hill behind John Flynn College, just to get out of the urban environment for a little while. For a time the hill was one of my bug-hunting locations, too – it was the nearest dry open grassland to me and I valued it because each kind of habitat has its own invertebrate life.

To the left of the road was a big water tank. The mural on it wasn’t even visible from that road, however. Here it is in context.

The mural as I saw it in 2012

The water tank was disused by that time and the inside had been taken over by one or more artistically-minded people – probably students, given the location. This view is from the hillside just above the tank.

I visited the spot last week, for the first time in several years, and was surprised to find the tank had gone. What remains may serve as an open-air dance-floor but that’s all.

concrete base of water tank
The hidden public art is now gone

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