'Why not?': Artist Lewis Aunger's cartoon surfs a wave of gratitude for Nicola Spurrier

The Murray Bridge artist's cartoon of the chief medical officer has all of South Australia clicking "like".

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What do chief medical officer Nicola Spurrier, Rundle Mall’s new pigeon sculpture and the Terminator have in common?

Nothing, until now – perhaps that is why Murray Bridge artist Lewis Aunger’s latest creation has become a smash hit around South Australia.

Hundreds of thousands of people have seen the image he uploaded to social media over the weekend, since it has been shared by the likes of radio host Andrew “Cosi” Costello and events website Play and Go Adelaide.

Dr Spurrier is depicted riding a mechanised version of the metal pigeon, brandishing an ammo belt of sanitiser and echoing Arnold Schwarzenegger’s catch phrase from 1991’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day.

“It kind of just comes to me,” the artist said.

“I don’t know how to explain it.

“I guess the outbreak at the moment is kind of influencing a lot of ideas, post-apocalyptic stuff; you mash it all up and hopefully something comes along.”

He had wanted to draw the pigeon ever since it was unveiled on November 6, he said.

Dr Spurrier’s addition came later.

“She seemed like she’s doing a good job at the moment, she’s all over the news, so I thought ‘why not'?’”

He was already well known in Murray Bridge for his event posters and doodles, but Mr Aunger said none of his artworks had ever made such a widespread impression on people.

The closest he had come before was an imagined cover for a video game in the Grand Theft Auto series, but set in Murray Bridge.

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“I’m in the works of trying to get some T-shirts and merch, but I do it mainly for fun,” he said.

“I do some graphic design stuff, but it doesn’t pay my bills.

“Whenever I'm out and about in Murray Bridge I get a lot of compliments – that’s enough to keep me going.”

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Dr Spurrier declined an invitation from Murray Bridge News to comment on the likeness, but an SA Health spokeswoman said yes, she had seen it.

“One of her friends showed it to her the other day,” she said.

“She found it very amusing.

“She definitely loved it.”

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