WANTED: Large, blank space to transform into a work of art

Artist Owen Cavanagh is back on the Sunshine Coast after a more than 10 year hiatus.
Artist Owen Cavanagh is back on the Sunshine Coast after a more than 10 year hiatus. Che Chapman

THE man who transformed a cane shed along the Sunshine Motorway into a work of art is looking for a giant new public space canvas for a good cause.

Internationally-acclaimed artist Owen Cavanagh is back on the Sunshine Coast after a more than 10-year hiatus.

And he has offered his services to "splash some paint" at a new public place to raise funds for Mix FM's Give Me 5 for Kids annual fundraiser for children's charity, Wishlist.

Any shed, wall, fence, roof or roller door will do.

In the last three years, Mr Cavanagh has lost three close friends, including his 37-year-old brother, Jason, to cancer.

"I approached Mix FM's Give Me 5 to donate my services," Mr Cavanagh said.

"I'd do a mural for somebody ideally and have a feel what's out there."

Several suggestions have already been put forward, including painting a fence, retaining wall or garage door.

It's the idea of painting on the side of semi-trailer that's standing out so far.

"Then it would be a moving artwork," he said.

Mr Cavanagh painted the enormous wave on the side of the cane shed in 2001 after approaching the farm owner for permission.

It is a stand out piece for those driving along the motorway between Maroochydore and Coolum Beach.

Even he didn't realise how popular it would be.

He left the Sunshine Coast around 10 years ago and first spent seven years in Europe where he spent time looking after his then wife's father in Italy who also had cancer.

The last four years he has been doing something totally different.

He was working with in construction on gas plants at Curtis Island.

But in-between driving forklifts and learning new skills, who took the opportunity to add some colour.

"I painted some murals in the camp on Curtis Island," he said.

"I was walking around looking at things and there was a big corrugated wall."

Now it is another eye-catching mural.

"It is a surf fantasy sort of scene," he said.

Mr Cavanagh was enthusiastic about being back on the Coast and having the chance to pursue his artistic passion once again.

He has set up his Solearte Australia studio in a mates surf factory.

One of his first works has been painting his brother's surfboard to be auctioned off to another charity, the Legend's Long Lunch in July.


The surfboard Owen Cavanagh has donated to charity with his painting of Sunny Coast heaven.
The surfboard Owen Cavanagh has donated to charity with his painting of Sunny Coast heaven. Facebook Owen Cavanagh

It's titled "Sunny Coast heaven" and depicts Mooloolaba with epic waves rolling in, with his three mates lost to cancer in the foreground and not many surfers to fight off in the big swell.

"It's pumping, as off course it would be in heaven," he said.

Topics:  artwork curtis island give me 5 for kids owen cavanagh wishlist

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