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September 11, 2006 | by  | in News |
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What happened to Brunswick? Cartoonist Critical of “Burnt Toast” Lift Redecoration

After several weeks out of action, the Rankine Brown Library north lifts are back up-and-running, with new-look interiors.

The Brunswick cartoons that decorated the interior of one lift have been removed, and both this and the former staff-lift now feature charcoal-coloured shredded rubber and red dots. John Culliford, Manager of Projects for Vic Facilities Management, told Salient that the lifts were renovated “to upgrade the quality of the space in the library.”

Culliford attributed the concept of rubber and dots to Tennent & Brown, an architecture company with a focus on using sustainable resources. “The red dots are really to lift the look of it and just to provide a more modern look to the library as part of an ongoing policy of modernisation,” Culliford said.

Brunswick artist Grant Buist says he was contacted by library staff “a few months ago” about updating the cartoons in the lift, but was unaware that lift renovations were taking place, or that his cartoons were being removed. Buist was unimpressed by the new interiors, describing the lift his cartoons once called home as “curiously soulsucking, two slices of squashy burnt toast spattered with red blood-bubbles.” Following his cartoons’ removal from the lift, Buist was told by a library staff member that a lost piece of artwork by a famous New Zealand painter, Shane Cotton, had been discovered on the back of the cartoons.

According to urban myth, this painting, apparently of a skull, once hung in the lift but was removed from the lift for being a “bad luck” omen, and has been missing from the library collection for five years. However, library staff told Salient that this was a misunderstanding over what artwork hung in which lift, and that no “lost” painting was rediscovered. Library staff said the old Brunswick cartoons may be hung elsewhere in the library in the future.

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About the Author ()

With her take-no-prisoners, kick-ass attitude, former News Editor Laura McQuillan adequately makes up for her lack of stature. Roaming the corridors (and underground tunnels) of the University by day, and hunting vampires and Nazi war criminals by night, McQuillan will stop at nothing to bring you the freshest news.

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