Eddie. Newspaper, masking tape, crayon, felt pen, crayon and children’s poster paint.
Hyde Park, Sydney, 1988

Who would have thought that a hobo from out of town would win the Sydney City Council’s Bicentennial Art competition prize? Certainly, many of Sydney’s Sunday painters, who had worked fastidiously at their easels all day, were pretty annoyed with the judges’ choice!

But this ‘Eddie’ had wandered in, got some newspaper out of a bin, scabbed some masking tape from someone to join pieces together, ‘borrowed’ a brown crayon from one of the kids beavering away on their entries, and wandered off to start doing a rubbing of one of the park benches.

That was going to be ‘it’, but then he had the idea of getting one of the kids to trace his body outline, like he’d rolled off the bench where he may have slept the night before. And then a bottle from out of the bin, as if to underline the stereotype of the park’s rough sleepers. All that was left was to ‘borrow’ some green poster paint from what had been supplied to the kids to fill it in with grass.

Eddie was the character I developed during the Bicentennial Authority’s Community Youth Arts Tour in 1988.

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