I was contacted by Darebin council back in October to quote on the repair of what I thought at the time was a really creepy clown swing at C.H. Sullivan in Reservoir. Fast forward four months and I’ve now brought two of these swings back to life with a third starting in a few weeks.
Having only lived in this beautiful country for five years and being originally from Paisley, Scotland, I knew absolutely nothing about these clown swings and how they are very much loved in the community. Speaking to the deputy mayor of Darebin council, Julie Williams. She tells me that these swings have been in the communities for around fifty years!! and that she was happy to see them getting brought back to life.
I was told that the clown faces were made originally in Perth but the moulds were lost in a factory fire many years ago, which made this slightly scary clown faces all that bit more special as they could no longer be reproduced.
With the clown faces not able to be reproduced, I had to think of a way to bring these guys back to life, back to how they may have originally looked almost fifty years ago. They needed a major facelift and some Scottish fibreglass TLC. This created plenty of dust, fibreglass and masking tape, but I think the outcome was worth all the hard work as the clown faces are back to their former glory, with their great big smile, Red rosy cheeks and what I’m told is a little tuft of facial hair under their mouth!
So far you can see two of these clown swings brought back to life, One at C.H. Sullivan memorial park, Reservoir and the other at A.G Davis reserve in Preston. The next one is going to be at Bundoora park and I’m going to be working alongside a local artist on this one as we are going to make it slightly different to blend in with all the upgrades Darebin council are giving the play park over the next month or so. I’m really looking forward to this one as the artist has some really cool ideas for how it’s going to look.
Going forward I’d love to get all these clown swings back to their former glory but, I’m not even sure how many there are out there! I know there’s two in Bundoora park and the two I’ve already done. I’m also aware of one in Pascoe Vale and Coburg but they are with Moreland council. If you have one of these guys in your local park and want it brought back to life, Get onto your local council and tell them there’s a rescue centre at Fibreglass Victoria in Preston where these guys go for a few weeks and come back looking like new!