THE emergence of Chemist Warehouse in Wodonga’s High Street could spell the end for the artwork that graces the exterior of the former Coles supermarket.
Another blank wall with advertising plastered all over it...would (be) a poor replacement.David Engwicht
The plain High Street wall of the grocery was turned into Reflections on High in 2008 as part of a council-backed move to brighten the shopping strip.
With the pharmacy giant set to move into the premises, council chief executive Patience Harrington said there was no guarantee the mural wall, which is owned by the city, would remain.
“That will be up to the tenant and then up to the council to determine what will happen with it,” she said.
“We would talk with the tenant, see what they wanted to do and then officers would need to develop a bit of a business case for councillors as to whether it’s kept or it is relocated.”
Ms Harrington said the mural, which sits 15 centimetres off the building’s wall in four pieces, was not made to last.
“It’s well beyond its lifespan, its lifespan when it was designed was for about five years,” she said.
A representative of Chemist Warehouse, which is known for its predominantly bright yellow colour scheme, did not return The Border Mail’s calls.
Placemaker David Engwicht, who designed the mural while engaged as a consultant by the council, said it was incorrect to state it was only meant to endure five years.
“It wasn’t part of the design brief to the two designers to make it only last for five years,” he said.
“They may have given advice to her (Ms Harrington) about how long they expected it to last for, but it certainly wasn’t part of the brief I gave the designers.
“I never put a timeline on it.”
Mr Engwicht would not like adverts to replace the art.
“The wall as it was sent a bad message to the town about its identity and I wanted to change it,” he said.
“If we end up with another blank wall with advertising plastered all over it I would see that as a poor replacement.”
Wodonga Ratepayers Association president Ian Deegan said his group “would appreciate it if they (Chemist Warehouse) left it there and they worked around it with their advertising”.
He said display boxes in the mural were valuable to show off the works of school students.
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