Artist Fined for Vegemite Graffiti
An individual who painted a mural made of Vegemite, depicting an arch bridge, on the wall of Fremantle Train Station in Fremantle, Australia, is now facing a fine.
A Public Transport Authority spokesperson said the man verbally abused the officers who confronted him about the graffiti on July 13. The food artist is expected to receive a AU$200 ($146) fine.
Vegemite is a popular spread in Australia, made from brewers' yeast. The spread was invented by Cyril Callister, a chemist at Australian company Fred Walker & Co.
Fremantle resident James Wagner, who took the photo of the edible artwork, told PerthNow that he was dropping off his girlfriend when he heard the argument between the artist and the transit guards. Among words exchanged, the artist allegedly said, “It’s only […] Vegemite.”
A man who made a painting out of Vegemite on a Fremantle Train Station wall is set to cop a hefty fine. https://t.co/AJbbl0GodU— PerthNow (@perthnow) July 14, 2018
Wagner thought the artwork portrayed the Fremantle harbor and a ship passing under the Freemantle rail bridge. “I’ve never seen anyone use Vegemite to draw with before,” Wagner said. “That’s why I put it on Facebook—it’s like the most Australian thing you can get."
Wagner added that reception of the photo he’d posted was generally positive, and that many believed that rain would simply wash the Vegemite away.
"It's a darn shame he didn't go about it in the right way because it's not so bad," the spokesperson said. "Whether you think this is art or not, it's government property—you need permission to do this sort of thing."
The PTA intends to remove the artwork. It is unclear whether the artist used a Vegemite jar or tube, or what application method was utilized.
The Fremantle station was built in 1881, standing as a single-story Federation Free Classical-style rectangular building. The site is also equipped with a platform and rail tracks. Its historical significance lies in its link with Fremantle’s maritime history and supporting the town as it grew after the construction of the harbor.