SENSELESS VANDALISM: An iconic canefield mural off the Sunshine Motorway destroyed by vandals will be restored.
SENSELESS VANDALISM: An iconic canefield mural off the Sunshine Motorway destroyed by vandals will be restored. Contributed

Owen's vandalised surf mural set to be restored by artist

ARTIST Owen Cavanagh will spend this weekend restoring the iconic mural in the canefield near Pacific Paradise that was wrecked by vandals two weeks ago.

Owen, who first painted the mural of Old Woman Island with offshore swept waves in 2001 on a cane shed off the Sunshine Motorway, said all he needed was power and access, which had been organised by Sunshine Coast Airport manager Peter Pallot.

The property is now owned by the council and the airport ultimately has plans to incorporate the mural in its proposed redevelopment.

"I'll start again from scratch with the base colours," Owen said.

He will travel from Gladstone, where he works, to undertake the weekend labour of love.

"I've been overwhelmed by the reaction," Owen said of the out-pouring of anger and support since the artwork was damaged.

"It just went nuts. People have called me out of the blue. One mate offered me $250 straight up towards providing solar lighting as a security measure and so people could have something to look at when they drive past at night.

"It's a good idea. We'll see if people will chip in.

"So many nice things have been said by people I don't know.

"It's really heart warming.

"The reaction has been very cool."

Owen's art is a much-loved feature of many Coast homes.

He went through a stage of air-brushing fridges, many of which were auctioned for charity.

He spent a number of years in Europe where he surfed competitively and often even made the trophies for contests from Spain and France through to Italy where he was active in the surf and art scene.

The weekend's restoration project will feature a photo shoot about 4.30pm on Sunday followed by a few beers with friends at Coolum Surf Lifesaving Club.

Aware of how he will be spending his weekend off work, his employer has given him a leave pass for Monday.

Owen praised the support he's received from Division Eight Councillor Jason O'Pray and Mr Pallot in responding so quickly to his offer to restore the mural.

The original work was a three-day exercise to complete using materials Owen supplied himself after he got the permission of the property's original owners. He commemorated the work's 10th anniversary in 2011 by returning to give it a new gloss coat.

"It's been my baby," he said.

"It's given a lot of people a lot of satisfaction."

When the artwork was tagged with graffiti two weeks ago, it sparked a social media storm.

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