By Melissa Sheil
TABLES seem to have turned for the beloved Kalamunda nests this week with the newest arrival defaced and some calling for its removal.
Nest number eight was discovered in a shed located behind Dream Jewellery and Gifts last Wednesday, its position marked with a large framed painting affixed to the outside wall and museum guide chains surrounding the white sand placed under it.
Unfortunately, the piece had been vandalised within one week, with a blue spray-painted tag of ‘MO.’ covering the painting and portions of the white painted nest.
The anonymous artist responsible for the nests told Echo News they were not aware of the vandalism until someone commented on one of their Instagram photos.
“I worked very hard on the painting, but you can only control so much,” they said.
“Things aren’t always as they appear and even something as beautiful as a painting can turn ugly overnight.”
Owner of Kalamunda Aromatics and Gifts Marian Terriaca said though she hadn’t heard of the nests until people started flocking to the shed next to her shop where nest eight resides, she is still furious it had been defaced.
“I left work on Sunday evening and I’m fairly certain it was still ok then,” she said.
“But when I came in Monday morning, I noticed it looked different and saw it had horrible stuff sprayed all over.
“When I’d seen it before I couldn’t get the door open, but now it opens fine, so I wonder if whoever did this forced the door open.”
The installation is the final in the nest saga, but not the end from Kalamunda’s Banksy with the elusive nest one still not found.
“Everything in this body of work has been planned down to the last detail and it will all make sense when nest one is found,” they said.
“It is the missing link.”
Though the graffiti was removed on Monday afternoon, the trouble was not yet over for nest eight, with building manager of the site Nigel Aldridge aggrieved by the trespassing, insurance liability and damaging of the shed’s ornate pressed tin roof and old brick work done by the artist.
“If the artist had asked us, we might have said yes, but no one asked permission to drill holes, paint over rustic roofing facades or open up a fence to a building site,” he said.
“If someone got hurt in that area, this person is going to have a multi-million dollar insurance company coming after them because we sure aren’t paying for it.
“We don’t want to be the ones ruining the community’s fun but it’s a step too far – they’re environmental vandals that need to be prosecuted.”
One resident, who wished to remain anonymous, echoed Mr Aldridge’s sentiment.
“It’s so disappointing because these nests had a special magic and there was something very gentle and generous about them,” she said.
“This one is just intensely invasive, and it will take a lot of money to get [the shed] restored since they’ve painted the whole inside black.
“They’ve spoiled their own creativity.”
It is not known whether there are any immediate plans to take down the sculpture though the City of Kalamunda said the owners are within their rights to do so.
The shed and the attached Dreams building are not heritage listed but are very old and considered important to the fabric of Kalamunda townsite by community members.
However, through cryptic conversation with the anonymous artist, Echo News understands that this controversy may have been a deliberate part of the plan and an artistic statement.
“Isn’t it ironic that I installed an illegal piece of art on private property and it got defaced, then somebody has taken it upon themselves to fix it up,” they said.
“People respect the nests now and as respect takes effort and time to build, I knew I had to leave this location to the end as the owners wouldn’t be happy.
“Remember with art, we value it differently on how it’s placed.
“Would you be as impressed with the nest in the water if it was placed somewhere else?
“It’s up to the community to save it now.”
Nest eight was apparently the last of the nests (aside from the elusive nest one) yet the artist alludes they are not even halfway through this story.
“I was asked to interpret the art of the birds, but when I’m ready I will give you a complete explanation on everything,” they said.
“Nest one will 100 per cent be more controversial.”