Snakes, ladders and a friendly neighbourhood

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Artist Jimmi Buscombe has created a 3D-effect snakes and ladders game at Pecten Avenue in West Warrnambool as part of Council’s “Home is Where the Art is” project.

The project aims to use art and creativity to bring neighbourhoods closer together by asking “How can we make our neighbourhood more friendly?”

The West Warrnambool Neighbourhood House worked with local residents and primary school students to come up with three projects they would like to bring to their neighbourhood.

Warrnambool Mayor Cr Debbie Arnott said that she was excited to see the finished product, and the benefits it will bring to the neighbourhood.

“One of the reasons why this project is so special is because it’s led by the local community,” she said.

“Last year the West Warrnambool Neighbourhood House worked with local residents and school children to see what projects they thought could make their neighbourhood an even friendlier place and they came up with three wonderful ideas.

“They spent hours knitting and crocheting together before yarn bombing trees in Laverock Road, they decorated old shoes and repurposed them as pot plants, and the snakes and ladders game created by Jimmi Buscombe is the third aspect.

“With the playground renewal scheduled for Pecten Avenue in March, it made perfect sense to line this up with the Home is Where the Art is project, with a concrete pad built especially for Jimmi to create the snakes and ladders game.

“We know how important strong neighbourhood connections can be in creating happy and healthy communities, and public art projects like this, especially where the locals themselves are involved in the whole process, are just so terrific to see.”

Artist Jimmi Buscombe said that the response from the community had been positive, and immediate.

“There were so many kids, and the moment I took off the bunting and said “ok, it’s dry” they just stormed onto it, which is great. It’s exactly what it’s for,” he said.

“Seeing how many kids are here now that the park has been re-done is amazing.

“Public art is art for the public, so if you can add an element of interactivity to it, it’s great.

“We found a couple of examples online (of snakes and ladders games) which were kind of 3D, then I had the idea of doing the A-frame ladders which take it to the next level. It was just heaps of fun.”

Still to come is a small concrete marker that not only shows you the ideal viewing angle, but acts as a dice roll mechanism. The marker is surrounded by six dice squares with numbers on them, so you can spin around and wherever you point, that’s the dice roll.

Everyone is invited to a community event at the Pecten Avenue playground on May 10 from 1pm until 3pm to celebrate Neighbourhood House Week. There will be a free sausage sizzle, fresh fruit, coffee van, face painting, kite flying, children’s games and live music.