Cop shop wall art is fun — and legal

Anyone caught scribbling on a wall could normally expect to find themselves taking a trip to the police station.

Which is precisely what happened to a group of young Warrnambool artists, with one important difference. They were invited.

They have taken brushes and brightly-coloured paint  to an unlikely canvas — a long, drab outdoor concrete wall at the Warrnambool police station, where the men and women in blue enjoy a cuppa. 

A dozen-strong team of painters and designers headed by local artist Francis van der Mark have slowly transformed the 30-metre-long wall into a mural of the city in a partnership project between Brophy Youth Services and Warrnambool police.

Leading Senior Constable Trudy Morland described the wall as a way to break down barriers between officers and youth. 

“It’s just a way for young people to interact with police,” she said.

“I approached Brophy with the idea and they were really keen. It’s just something people can be really proud of.” 

Overseeing the mural, with the odd lesson in brushwork, Mr van der Mark said anyone was welcome to add their own touch. 

“We’ve got people from the streets, from the schools, local artists — basically anybody who wants to be part of it,” he said. “The kids have had such a good time here — even the kids who don’t paint much.”

Dairy cows, waves and whales were a little off topic from the normal anime style of Izzy Clark.

But the 15-year-old said the paintbrush was a therapeutic way to spend the afternoon.

“I just love it, I find it really relaxing,” she said. 

The mural is expected to be completed by the end of this week. 

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