I'm a freelance writer living in the beautiful river town of Mannum in South Australia dreaming of the day I can retire from the 9-5 to write full-time.
Published March 18th 2017
Mannum's colourful solution to a sticky problem
Randell Street in Mannum, South Australia
If you take a walk down the main street of Mannum, a picturesque river town in South Australia, you may be surprised to see a kaleidoscope of colourful shapes under your feet, and while these may seem random, if you look a little closer you will see that there is a purpose to their placement.
This project is the result of a determination by local citizen and vice-president of the Mannum Progress Association, Carol Greening, to combat the growing problem of chewing-gum deposits on the main street sidewalk.
Carol initially approached the local Mid-Murray Council to bring the issue to their attention and after some research and discussion, it was agreed that most gum removal methods were either too expensive or proved relatively ineffective. Having learned that the method of painting over the deposits had been successful overseas, the council agreed to trial the idea in Mannum's main street.
Working in conjunction with the local Creative Communities group – a group of local artists – Carol has been overseeing the project which has received mixed reaction from locals. On the whole, though, the project has been well-received and adds a quirky touch to an already cheerful street.
Artist Steve Oatway working with local residents on the project
Well-known artist and local identity, Steve Oatway agreed to lend his expertise to the project and has been working together with several locals to make it happen. Steve, best known for his junk-art sculptures and expressive paintings, is making his way meticulously along the footpath using stencils and spray paint to camouflage the unsightly deposits, and while the project is still on-going, it will eventually span the length of the main street and give pedestrians something much more pleasant to look at than chewing-gum spots.