Junk artist's COVID-19 exterminator might be humanity's best hope yet

Or maybe not. But you never know, suggests Mannum's Steve Oatway.

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Could this contraption, a COVID exterminator built by a Mannum junk artist, cure the pandemic that has swept the globe over the past six months?

Not really, no.

But could it?

In the absence of a vaccine or any better ideas, you never knew, Steve Oatway suggested playfully.

“I put a tank on there with the special COVID exterminator chemical, which is harmless to humans,” he explained.

“It really sprays water, of course.

“But it’s a metaphorical piece.”

The wheeled platform covered with gauges, plastic superheroes and other oddities looks for all the world like Mad Max met Game of Thrones creator George RR Martin in a creepy child’s bedroom.

This is what happens when an artist with a backyard full of treasures ends up with time on his hands during a lockdown.

Mr Oatway said his process was mostly intuitive.

“I’ve been doing this junk art for so many years that the junk tells me what it wants to be and I follow that, right or wrong, good or bad, ugly or brilliant,” he said.

“It’s an interesting process because I don’t have to think too hard.

“I walk past (a piece of junk) and it says ‘I want to go on here’.”

He hoped to take the exterminator out of his driveway and down the street over the weekend.

Perhaps later in the year, if restrictions were lifted – if the exterminator did its job, that is – he would be able to show it at a public event like the Mannum Christmas pageant.

“I’m hoping Donald Trump will put an offer in on a series of them,” he said.

“They’re all going to be slightly different, of course, to suit the different countries they might go to.”

Photo: Steve Oatway.