Warrnambool’s wombat street art is a happy accident

Warrnambool’s wombat street art is a happy accident

I was out the front mowing the nature strip, and I could see a bit of attention on
the other side of the bridge, of people looking and taking photos and I thought “wow, there’s something going on”. So I went and had a squiz and then
once I saw what I saw, I thought “yeah this is gutsy”. Honestly it looked like someone done damage to the bridge with the way it’s got the hole in it. I had no idea who done it. I thought “well someone around here has got talent.” I probably should have got permission,
but I thought I’ll just go and have an experiment. It’s only chalk.
That’s gonna last a couple of days. If it rains it’ll come straight off. I did it on a Friday, thought if it’s
not washed off by the Sunday I can go down with some water and hose it off. And then it wasn’t until I actually touched it and realised what it was done with, and then I thought “well, it’s gonna rain and it’ll be gone”. So, yeah, it needed saving. It can’t go. So I’d been hired by Warrnambool
City Council to do a piece done in pastels and I
needed to have a bit of practise. So I snuck down to the bridge that’s literally at
the end of my driveway outside my house, just to see how the pastels would
adhere to the concrete and how they’d last. It took about three hours and people
were hooting on the way past, so people were calling up and
talking to me, like “wow, I thought someone had
knocked a hole in the bridge. What are you doing here?”
Instantly it was a lot of fun for the community. Because originally I was going to wash it off that night, but I loved it so much I thought
“I’m just going to leave it there, “It’s the weekend, let people drive past and see it, and then I’ll wash it off on the Sunday.” Me wife warned me, “don’t interfere don’t go near it.”
[REPORTER] Did you listen to your wife? (LAUGHS) Nah! No, I put the hi-vis on and
pretended, you know, I was someone important, and I knew exactly what to put on it to
make it stay there and done the old (MIMICS SPRAY CAN) “psssssssssss”
three times. Oh, I had to let let it dry in between coats (LAUGHS) yeah, and by the
time the nature strip was mowed it was permanent. Yeah. So then Sunday came around and I went down there
with my bucket of water and my cloth, and as I walked up to it I noticed it
was shiny and I thought “oh my god”. It looks like it’s had some chemical reaction.
It was a really dewy morning that morning. I thought maybe the pastels absorbed
some of the moisture from the air. So I go up and I rub it with my
finger and it’s not coming off and I dip my cloth in, I’m starting
to wipe, and it’s just not moving. (LAUGHS EXCITEDLY) Yeah! He’d
been tryin’ to wash it. (LAUGHS) No, he’d been … I start to panic, I’m like “oh my god what’s going on?” Scrubbing, scrubbing, scrubbing, decided “alright, I’ll come back and I’ll get metho.” So I came back, got a bottle of metho,
ran down, same thing, it wouldn’t come off. It’s anti-graffiti clear. Yeah, yeah. It’s game over there,
you won’t wash it off. I’m starting to panic, thinking “oh
my god, I haven’t got permission, the Council don’t even know I’ve done it.” So then I came back and I’ve found
acetone, which is like nail polish remover and that stuff gets everything off, and it didn’t
even come off with nail polish remover. So then I was just stumped. I’m like “well, what do I do? I have to leave it there and work it out and I decided I would contact Council
and let them know what had happened. I was freaking out a lot, because you can get in a lot
of trouble – I mean, it’s essentially graffiti. Although it’s art, it’s graffiti. It’s not graffiti! That’s – yeah – it’s art! [TRAIN ROLLS OVER BRIDGE ABOVE] My daughter goes to school locally, so I took
her to school and one of the mums told me a local person who lives near me had come
across and sprayed it with a clear coat. I asked a couple of people around and they all pointed to across the other side of the train bridge – Mr Phil Hoy. Jimmi’s showed up and introduced himself, and said he was the bloke who – and I said “yeah, gutsy as Jimmi! “I love it that much that I’ve
preserved it. It’s there for life mate.” And I was – I lost it. I thought it was hilarious. I chatted to him for about half an hour. And then
it turned out that at one point in his career he was the contractor as the graffiti removalist
for Warrnambool City Council and here he was protecting my
graffiti with a clear coat. And it was an automotive clear coat,
so nothing gets that stuff off! It’s permanent! It’s part of Warrnambool now. [REPORTER] So the wombat’s legal?
It’s legal. Yeah! Wombat’s here to stay! We just need – you need to run a
comp to name the wombat.

100 thoughts on “Warrnambool’s wombat street art is a happy accident

  1. I am entering the naming contest. I hereby name the wombat "Sticky"!!!
    (By the way this name has a peculiar jocular double-meaning that only Australians might unnerstand.)

    (But in the interest of helping unaustralians, here's an old joke:-
    Q. What does a wombat do?
    A. He eats roots and leaves.)
    Somehow, I suppose this may still be hard to unnerstan, if you are an unaustralian.

  2. Obviously there is a difference between graffiti and art, don't put the two into the same category please….

  3. Doesn't it seem fishy to anyone else that literally the whole thing was filmed? I mean, having a story is one thing, but you see him drawing the thing, you see him spraying the clear coat on it, you see them "meeting" each other for the first time.

    This was either highly staged from the get-go as a publicity stunt or something, or they re-created the entire thing after the full story was known. Both feel very fake. It's one thing to tell a story, it's another thing to tell the story and show the whole story, supposedly after it happened. I'm skeptical.

  4. Jimmi is an extraordinary, multi-dimensional talent. Looks like the world is finally getting the memo. About time.

  5. I know stories of graffiti removal deciding to leave the paintings that they like, never heard of them actually making it more permanent.

    Looked great, also a good story.

  6. Just love this! Up in the Mallee and Wimmera Districts there is Silo Art put on huge silos. Its quite a tourist attraction.

  7. What a fantastic story, how could you not feel happy inside after seeing this.I loved it even if it may have been set up .

  8. This video has been in my feed for a week now, I ran past this for the first time this morning not realising the story behind the artwork thinking it was really nice graffiti until just seeing this video now! Great story behind it all haha

  9. So I just came across this story on Facebook (in Canada!), and showed it to a co-worker. He suggests calling him Wally

  10. I name the wombat Squiz … which is what Phil says when he goes to look at what was going on … "So I went and had a squiz".

  11. I love that art I walk past every night and every morning to get to school and I always put my hand up on it and I say this person who did it is so amazing

  12. Just a couple of top blokes if ever there were… Surprised their chat went for only half an hour & not more…

  13. W O W … how cool..!!
    I have actually been to Warrnambool once in 1997, from N. Carolina
    we drove over from Melbourne where we stayed for a week at a time
    whenever we did the RIM trip in the 747… ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ›ซโœˆ๏ธ

  14. Oh Phill you are hysterical! They're both so adorably funny! If I ever get to Australia I know what to see first!

  15. So was this whole thing planned? Or did they just happen to re enact everything they did including drawing another wombat crack on another bridge just for the camera?

  16. at this viewing, 1000 people like and 15 have sticks in their asses. probably a support group for that somewhere.

  17. But how did they film bomber hat guy making a smudge at 0:48? At that point the clear coat layers were already on. Did they really make the artist paint another one somewhere else just for the smudging and spraying shots?

  18. Not sure if he named already. He was To be for a weekend only then not To be after that. Now he could answer the age old question to be or not TOBY.

  19. Want to know more about this story? You can read producer Emily Blissland's article on how she discovered the story and put it together here: https://ab.co/2oUoJbR

  20. and then some lowlife scum broke into his home and stole his priceless hat and his wallet with cash he'd saved up for a special present for his wife….hope the mongrels rot in Hell……

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