Following the shocking accidental death of Peter Jackson, aka Roa Dart, aka Pothole Pete, in Koonorigan last weekend, there’s been a renewed push for a Big Heart in Lismore.
The heart was Pete Jackson’s signature symbol, and has appeared at the Bentley Blockade, on people’s cars, on top of the Bruxner Highway bridge at Lismore, in Lightning Ridge and innumerable other unlikely places thanks to the secret superhero antics of this local legend.
Although he shied away from the media spotlight, and hated being interviewed or photographed, it was Pete’s colourful pothole artwork on the roads around the Northern Rivers which prevented many accidents and saved even more cars from expensive trips to the mechanic.
Many people have also encountered Pete’s unique take on the world via his painted car bonnets and surreal conversations at markets and blockades.
Time for a big heart?
Denise Alison, from the popular Humans of Lismore FB page, has recently been revisiting a much-shared post from 2016 in which she said, ‘I am a bit of a dag as I actually like big things in towns such as Ballina’s big prawn, Tamworth’s guitar, the big sheep, even the big banana in Coffs that seemed so big when I was little but now looks like a lady finger. Anyway, I was thinking that Lismore could do with a GIANT heart.
‘Seeing as though we are known as the heart of the Northern Rivers and our little blurb is “Come to the Heart” I think it would be so good to have a massive heart, maybe down at Riverside Park on the hill so you see it as you come over the bridge. Certainly a nice symbol in the world right now.
‘Maybe we could get some creative and handy humans on board and make it a community project. Wouldn’t Pete love it!’
Denise Alison told Echonetdaily she’s calling council today ‘to get the ball rolling’, and the more people who hear about it, the more likely it will happen.
She sees the idea as a practical, artistic way to remember Peter Jackson.
‘The people in our town have big hearts,’ she said. ‘I see this over and over and I love the idea of people coming to town and getting a photo with our big heart. It’s a nice big thing to be famous for.
‘When people talk about Lismore. Ahh that’s where the big heart is. Wouldn’t that be cool?’
What do you think?