The Cambridge nursing home won the freeway mural project

The Cambridge nursing home won the freeway mural project by Cameron Hayes. 2001-2, oil and glitter on linen, 84 x 66 inches.

The local government wanted to have a mural painted on the massive columns which hold up their new freeway. The Cambridge nursing home won the freeway mural project through their winning tender. Each resident was assigned an area of column whose image would link up with the area next to them to form one picture.

Each retiree planned only their own personal sections and started making their art without consulting one another. Despite their age it didn’t occur to any of them that other people may not fit in with their own plans, and unexpected events may impact on their grand vision.

One artist is furious to find that his Raphael-like cherubs are going to be sullied by his neighbour’s pornographic winged women, whereas the best the guy below can think of is to just paint every woman he can still remember sleeping with.

An old man has spent the remaining time of his life making a space suit and engineering a complicated plan to travel into space only to find that his wife painted only a single propeller plane. An Indian resident has painted a pantheon of Hindu gods while his Muslim neighbour painted a cart pulled by devils leading the cart into hell.

A lot of the residents are not sure how much of their remaining time to spend on something they may not see finished or could even be painted over. They decide to live in the moment and eat the painted seeds on the mural farm, smash open the piggy banks and eat the cow’s meat rather than save it for its milk.

The senile who loiter around the bottom of the freeway have broken bits of plate hoping to catch a skerrick of the cooking cow. Others try to break in to the windowless deserted car wrecks with coat hangers that have been dumped at the bottom of the freeway desperate for a feel of the steering wheel.

At the top of the freeway everybody’s different perceptions of God makes it impossible for the angels to build a cohesive rail line to heaven.

Detail 1

Detail 2

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