Emu Point water tank to be restored as Albany man returns after 21 years to revive artist Jack Davies’ original mural

Sarah MakseAlbany Advertiser
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Tony Oreo is refreshing the water tank at Emu Point he helped Jack Davies paint in 1999, with Monique Heales.
Camera IconTony Oreo is refreshing the water tank at Emu Point he helped Jack Davies paint in 1999, with Monique Heales. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser

More than 20 years after he helped artist Jack Davies paint a native bush mural on an Emu Point water tank, Albany man Tony Oreo has returned to revive its fading facade with the help of a talented 11-year-old apprentice.

After painting large-scale murals on concrete canvasses across the country, Davies left his mark on a City of Albany water tank on Roe Parade in 1999.

Oreo said he remembered his painting mentor and childhood neighbour as a “true bushman”.

“He was like a grandfather to me,” he said. “You could always bet Jack was in his studio painting — that was his first love.

“Jack himself was a real bush person, so he took his inspiration from all his years in the bush.”

Tony Oreo is refreshing the water tank at Emu Point he helped Jack Davies paint in 1999.
Camera IconTony Oreo is refreshing the water tank at Emu Point he helped Jack Davies paint in 1999. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser

Oreo said the artist’s signature bold brushstrokes meant the pair finished the original mural in one day. “He was someone that knew what he was doing,” he said.

The mural remains Oreo’s largest piece, which after 21 years is ready for a facelift.

Along with young family-friend Monique Heales, he has started repainting the original design this week, adding some additional native wildlife to the mix.

The pair plan to work away at the mural over the school holidays.

“I wouldn’t mind it going a bit further, there is a lot in Albany that could be painted to make it more colourful,” he said.

Miss Heales said she was pleased to be learning new skills.

“It feels nice to express myself and show what I can do with my colours,” she said.

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