5 May, 2023

Snakes, ladders and fun times

THERE’S now plenty of snakes to be found in the Pecten Avenue playground.

By Staff Writer

Snakes, ladders and fun times - feature photo

The popular Warrnambool playspace is now home to some colourful snakes (and ladders) – of the friendly, painted variety.

Thanks to the recent completion of Jimmi Buscombe’s latest public artwork in Warrnambool, visitors to the playground can now enjoy playing snakes and ladders with family and friends. 

The 3D-effect game was completed as part of Warrnambool City Council’s ‘Home is where the Art Is’ project. 

The project aims to use art and creativity to bring neighbourhoods together by asking ‘how can we make our neighbourhood more friendly?’ 

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

The first two projects – yarn-bombing trees in Laverock Road and decorating old shoes to use for pot plants – were completed in October 2022. 

The snakes and ladders game, created by Jimmi Buscombe, coincides with the renewal of the Pecten Avenue playground, which was completed last month. 

Mayor Debbie Arnott said 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.” 

Mr. Buscombe said 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 “okay, 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 which 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. 

Residents are invited to a community event at the Pecten Avenue playground next Wednesday, 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.


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