Australian Artist Decorates His Small Town by Painting Power Poles

Artist David Rowe delights in painting outdoors — on power poles.

Artist David Rowe uses unusual canvases.

All around his small Australian town, his work can be seen by anyone who stops at certain power poles.

For 20 years, Rowe has been driving around his sleepy village of Lucinda, in northern Queensland, painting his outdoor vistas.

There's a shark swallowing a Coast Guard boat and a man eating an ice cream cone. "When you drive around, you're driving around an art gallery," he said.

"It's about lifestyle, and it's mainly about fishing."

But the elements and time have taken their toll, leaving his art more than a little diminished by the weather's wear and tear.

So Rowe secured a grant, and now he is making the rounds of his 81 artworks in his battered truck, freshening up his canvases.

"It's really nice to get down here early in the morning and paint. No one's telling you what to do, I haven't got a boss," he happily says.

And he gets a lot of feedback from townspeople.

"It's funny, you paint away and someone turns up, a little old lady turns up, and she decides to tell you all her problems and you say 'yes love, yes love' and, it's a nice community down here.”

Also, he says, not one street artist has tagged his work.

"But the best part about it," he says, "none of them has been graffitied, not one of them.”

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