Whittlesea H Hardware owners are calling out to graffiti or mural artists transform an unsightly fence into a work of art.
Pauline Lord, whose family has occupied the land where Whittlesea H Hardware is situated since the 1940s, is seeking people who are interested in painting a mural on the side fence of the hardware store to cover the word ‘COVID’ left by illegal graffitists.
Ms Lord said there was scope for a mural to be created that highlighted the history of her family, which previously ran a sawmill on the Plenty Road site.
“We do have a very big history in our family as the business has been there since 1948,” she said.
“Now it is run by my husband and son as my father-in-law has passed away, but that’s three generations in the business.
“I’d love to put some of that history into the mural; we’ve turned the site into a hardware timber store, which was before Bunnings came down to Mernda. It was quite successful but it was a lot of hard work.
“It was originally a sawmill, but we had to close it down.
“Younger people don’t know we existed as anything other than Whittlesea H Hardware.”
After suffering a severe accident during the pandemic, Mrs Lord was left with a lot of time on her hands, which she used to think about how to not only cover the graffiti on her fence, but to minimise graffiti in Whittlesea.
Ms Lord and her husband regularly travel through Victoria and Australia, and after seeing many large-scale murals, the idea came about.
“Ever since they put the word COVID on the fence, I didn’t like it,” she said.
“We travel Victoria and Australia when we are able, and see some of the most beautiful murals, and thinking about that, I said to my husband this is what we need.
“I had a pretty tough year last year and was isolated more than others as I had a bad accident but I pondered my thoughts, came home from hospital and I thought I’ll put out a message and see if anyone can help me.”
Mrs Lord said she hoped the project would encourage graffitists to deter from illegal works, and instead be encouraged to paint meaningful pieces of art, which would beautify the town, and invite tourists to Whittlesea to view the murals.
“We need to see a change and for that to happen, we shouldn’t condemn the people doing the graffiti, but encourage them to use their talents in a different way,” she said.
“If you put up these beautiful murals, then people will hopefully not want to graffiti anymore.”
Ms Lord will supply the equipment needed, including paints and brushes to the artist/s willing to help her with the project.
Anyone willing to assist can contact Ms Lord’s son, Stuart, on 0407 545 290.