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Echuca artist paints mural in tribute to cousin who died of leukemia

By Ivy Jensen

AN ECHUCA mural of a teenage boy with some of his favourite things is the latest masterpiece by visiting artist Shaun Devenney.

But it’s more than another wall painting for the 25-year-old Scotsman.

It’s a tribute to his 14-year-old cousin Sam Hannah, who died last month after a nine-month battle with leukaemia.

“It is a fitting image of him as he loved his food and his football, so having an image of him in his Rangers top while eating an omelette represented him quite well,” Shaun said.

“It was important to me to paint this image of Sam for my family back home in the hope that it brought them even a slight bit of comfort in this hard time.”

Artist Shaun Devenney painted a mural in Echuca in tribute to his cousin Sam Hannah, who recently died of leukaemia. Photo: Cath Grey

It took Shaun about four days to paint, using a mixture of exterior house paint and spray paint, and it takes pride of place on a wall behind Peats Office Equipment in Annesley St, along the railway tracks.

“It’s important to me as it was hard not being able to be home for Sam’s funeral to be with my family, but in doing the painting it felt good to be doing something in memory of Sam,” he said.

“I think it is a good representation of Sam and the boy he was. It’s nice for me to drive down Sturt St and look across at Sam over the railway line.

“I hope the people who see it see the friendly and humorous nature that Sam had.

“Before Sam passed, I had spoken to him about doing his portrait again and I had already painted Sam in Melbourne and at Bondi Beach.”

Shaun arrived in Australia last August and spent time with his sister in Melbourne before arriving in Torrumbarry, where he has been living with friends for the past four months.

“I’ll be here for another little while by the looks of it with the whole COVID situation,” he said.

Shaun Devenney's mural on the side of the Welch Quality Builders warehouse. Photo: Cath Grey

To make the best of a bad situation, Shaun has been keeping himself busy painting murals around the area, including a fresco on the once dull west-facing wall of Welch Quality Buildings in June.

“I’ve painted a climbing wall at Murray Life Adventures in Torrumbarry and I’m in the process of painting another. I also recently just completed a commission for Echuca Tyres and Batteries of an old truck,” he said.

“I’m always looking for walls to paint and I would love to paint some silos to add to the silo trail here in Victoria.”

To see more of Shaun’s art or get in contact with him, visit his Facebook page Art by Dev.

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