Council has apologised to sporting groups for commissioning a piece of artwork at Harris Park without consultation.
It says the painting in its current form could be changed pending independent approval.
The embarrassing backtrack follows a meeting held earlier this week with several sporting clubs – including Group Nine’s Southcity Bulls – over the street-style artwork derided as an eyesore and unsuited to the park’s surrounding environment.
“I apologise to the stakeholders and realise we needed to do more consultation,” council’s manager of community services Madeleine Scully said.
“We totally appreciate that they wanted to be more involved.”
Ms Scully said the apology will be followed by a meeting today with the Public Art Advisory Panel to decide the fate of the controversial painting.
The meeting will canvass repainting the current artwork to better reflect the sporting environment.
Country Rugby League regional manager David Skinner, who first flagged concerns about the artwork, said a design similar to the mural at Bolton Park would be accepted by sporting clubs.
Mr Skinner said the current design – which depicts a “lasercat” and what appears to be a black hole – was “vastly different” to what sporting clubs deemed appropriate for the field.
“What we consider appropriate are the Bulls, Lions and Colts,” he said.
“With no offence to the kids … there is plenty of scope for a graphic of these sports.”
Ms Scully defended the $7000 price tag of the workshop that was designed to educate children about art.
“For me, that investment in young people is worth it,” she said.
“I just think that investing in young people is really exciting and we need to capture their attention.”
Mr Skinner said he hoped the artwork would be removed before the weekend’s sporting events.
During the course of the public outrage over the project several people spoke in defence of the mural, including Eastern Riverina Arts chief Scott Howie. The Perth-based artist behind the project, Steve Browne, did not return Advertiser calls.
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