Ulmann mural restoration a whale of a project

A crowd-funding campaign is under way to return an iconic mural by Robert Ulmann to its former glory. Picture: ROB GUNSTONE

A crowd-funding campaign is under way to return an iconic mural by Robert Ulmann to its former glory. Picture: ROB GUNSTONE

A CROWD-FUNDING campaign is under way to return an iconic mural by Robert Ulmann to its former glory.

The painting of a southern right whale and calf has adorned the outside wall of the Flaxman Street milk bar since 1989 and has been untouched ever since.

Ulmann, one of Warrnambool’s best known and most successful artists, died in 1999.

Warrnambool art enthusiast Carol Altmann has launched a campaign through online crowd-funding site Pozible to raise $5000 for the works, which aim to undo 25 years of wear and tear.

Ms Altmann negotiated with the owners of the wall, the leaseholder and the Ulmann family, with the family kicking in $500 to get the campaign off the ground.

Ulmann’s wife Helen said the mural was painted on the side of the milk bar to brighten the day of pupils heading to East Warrnambool Primary School.

“Rob’s original intention was to create a mural for the kids who would see these beautiful whales every time they went to school,” Mrs Ulmann said. 

“It is wonderful to know that, through this restoration, many more children will be able to enjoy his work.”

Should the fund-raising campaign reach its $5000 target, local bricklayer Barry Knowles will undertake repair works on the wall before south-west artist and signwriter Liz Gannon repaints the mural. 

Ms Altmann said the artwork was “one of the most high-profile murals in Warrnambool”.

“It forms an unofficial gateway to the whale nursery at Logans Beach that attracts thousands of tourists, so it is an important piece of public art on a number of levels,” she said.

People wishing to make a donation can do so through www.bluestonemagazine.com.au or at the Flaxman Street milk bar until August 7.

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