Public Art or Eyesore? Council Defends Artwork Amidst Petition and Online Vitriol

Public Art or Eyesore? Council Defends Artwork Amidst Petition and Online Vitriol

Mayor Condemns Online Vitriol

The Holdfast Bay mayor has expressed her disappointment over the "online vitriol" surrounding a public art mural in Glenelg. The mural, painted on a seawall along South Esplanade, has sparked controversy, with some residents petitioning for its removal or modification.

Mayor Amanda Wilson stated that both the artist and a resident who complained about the mural have been targeted online with "negative comments." She expressed concern for the artist's safety, fearing that the online negativity could create a hostile environment.

The mural, which cost $30,000, has been the subject of debate since its completion in February. While the council welcomes discussion about the artwork, Mayor Wilson emphasized that some online comments have been "distressing."

One of the residents who initiated the petition, Raelene Elmes, argued that the mural's bright colors clash with the surrounding landscape. She expressed concern about the reflection of the colors, particularly during summer.

Another resident, Bernadette Davey, revealed that her husband had contacted the council during the mural's creation to express concerns about the lack of public consultation. However, the council responded that it was not seeking consultation and instead invited feedback during the annual business plan process.

Despite the controversy, the council has decided to keep the mural. Mayor Wilson defended the resident's right to complain, stating that she "followed the right avenues." However, she emphasized the importance of respectful dialogue and condemned the online negativity directed towards both the artist and the resident.