Pothole artist calls it quits

WE all love to whinge about the state of our roads and the size of the potholes, but one man took it upon himself to do something about it.

But after three years of voluntary community service, the artist known as Roa Dart is hanging up his spray cans.

NO MORE: Roa Dart will stop painting around the potholes on our Northern Rivers roads and pursue other artistic endeavours.
NO MORE: Roa Dart will stop painting around the potholes on our Northern Rivers roads and pursue other artistic endeavours. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

He has probably saved the community tens of thousands of dollars in repairs and may have saved lives through avoided accidents, but for reasons that are his and his alone, Roa Dart will paint our roads no more.

Roa (not his real name) told The Northern Star that he had put his "life on hold" to paint the roads and for most of that time he had "loved what (he) was doing", but after some "negativity" and possibly some financial stress he has decided it's time to move on.

"I've shown it can be done, and I'm not in jail... It's come from the heart and the love I've felt from people has been overwhelming at times."

He has established donation collection spots around the Lismore local government area (his main canvas), but it generally doesn't cover the $100 plus he spends on paint each week.

Roa said pot hole painting is not for the faint hearted and he has had many near-death experiences over the years.

He always wears high visibility clothing, but his work is not sanctioned by councils or Roads and Maritime Services.

"I don't have a fear of death. Four wheel drives will go past at 100kmh. It's not something I can just hand over to somebody... It's a spiritual thing. It makes you appreciate the life you have.

"Your awareness is heightened. My main concern is always listening for cars coming... but the reality of it is it's a dangerous situation."

Roa is also responsible for putting brightly coloured love hearts around Lismore, which he says he will continue to do "forever" while also pursuing other artistic endeavours.

Topics:  lismore, potholes



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