The Quad mural

The mural I painted in the Quad at Victoria University years ago was originally designed to be a VUWSA noticeboard. Exec members used to remove the panels, flip them, and paint notices on them. Usage has varied from year to year depending on how canny the Exec members are. This year, for example, it hasn’t been touched at all, which is good because after seven years some of the centre panels have grown battered from careless handling.

Yesterday I was naturally livid to be told by my flatmate that one of the candidates in next week’s student election had completely covered one of the panels with a poster. The front of the panel. With duct tape. The good stuff, the sort that rips paint off surfaces. I headed down to the Vic library to inspect the damage, and literally shouted “Mother FU-” when I saw what he’d done.

I immediately removed the panel (no mean feat when you consider it’s nearly the size of a door and weigh about 20kg) and carried it home to clean it. Have you ever had to scrape off a stubborn price sticker from a book or CD? Imagine that, but a hundred times larger.

I sent out a few e-mails to VUWSA to explain why there’s now a gap in the mural. Of course, the worst thing you can do in New Zealand is complain. I received word that the candidate in question regretted any damage, but pointed out rather snippily that a volunteer, not himself, had installed the poster, and that candidates last year had done the same thing.

Well, they were probably smart enough not to paste their stuff up on the front of the artwork, weren’t they? You fucking moron.

The panel is now in my laundry. It’s actually the first one I finished painting, in 1998. I’m going to finish cleaning it this weekend, and put it back next week. I know this might sound precious to readers wondering what the big deal is, but if you mess with my artwork, you’re messing with my children. For those of you familiar with the Quad, have you ever wondered what it would look like without the mural? Here’s a photo I took in March this year:

quad_after

And this is what the Quad looked like in March 1998 before I started painting:

quad_before

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