THE man behind a long-running campaign to remove the faces at Cockburn train station has supported a petition for their removal – saying it’s time.
Peter Shurmer created the Facebook page remove the Cockburn train station face six years ago.
“I hate art as it is,” he said.
“But they’re hideous.
“The old bird is sunfaded and withering. We can replace them now.”
Mr Shurmer lives in Kwinana now, but the pair first came to his attention while he was living in Cockburn.
“At first I thought they were missing persons,” he said.
“I thought the young boy was Daniel Morcombe. But after a while I thought there’s gotta be more to it.
“I was buying a Coke from a vending machine and there’s a little plaque explaining it and I thought ‘you have got to be kidding’.”
Mr Shurmer would like to see the faces replaced with a mural, a clock or a mosaic.
Contentiously, he reckons the public art in Kwinana is better.
“I’m glad this person has started a petition, the jokes over their faces are ugly,” he said.
“The area isn’t empty anymore, there’s a shopping centre and units.
“I’d hate to spend $300,000 to $400,000 on a unit that looked at them – I’d be quite annoyed.”
He said this is the City of Cockburn’s chance to act.
City of Cockburn director of planning and development services Daniel Arndt said the artwork is not the property of the City of Cockburn so the City does not have jurisdiction over whether the artwork stays or goes.
“The artwork was contracted directly by the Public Transport Authority (PTA) as part of the State Government per cent for art contribution for the MetroRail project,” he said.
“The State Government per cent for art policy requires up to one per cent of the construction budget for new works over $2 million to be expended on artwork.
“The artwork affixed to the north and south faces of the clock tower at Cockburn Central Train Station is entitled Face of the Community and was erected in 2006.
“The artwork consists of two faces, one of a middle-aged lady and another of a young boy.
“The faces were produced by artists Marco Marcon and Rodney Glick using hundreds of photos of local residents digitally combined to provide an interpretation of the community and public transport users.”
The City said they are not aware of any plans to change the art in the future.
“The City notes that when anyone commissions a public artwork, there is often a wide range of views, positive and negative, with such views often evolving through time,” Mr Arndt said.
“Public artwork often experiences a higher degree of comment and interest, as it takes the art to the audience rather than waiting for the audience to come to it, as would be found in a gallery experience.
“The City recognises the presence of multiple and often differing value judgments when analysing any piece of public art.”
Mr Arndt said the City has received a range of views on the artwork.
“The City understands also that social media (Facebook) has provided a forum by which people have aired their views of the artwork, and it is noted that such views have ranged from positive to negative (with negative views appearing to be more prominent than positive),” he said.