THE death of Australian professional skateboarder Lewis Marnell at age 30 has inspired a burst of artistic endeavour in his memory.
Marnell died on January 18 from complications from diabetes, leaving behind his wife of only six months and a devastated family.
Prahran skate park has been turned into a shrine to the celebrated skateboarder, with a four-metre-long mural created by two of Marnell’s friends, who wished to remain anonymous.
Skateboarders at the park praised the artwork’s creators, saying it kept alive the memory of someone with a genuine and infectious love for life.
Marnell was born in Melbourne, grew up in Sweden, and returned to Australia to skateboard full-time.
His brother, Jonas Marnell, 33, a photographer and street artist, last week ended the family’s month-long silence on Marnell’s death, saying there had been an overwhelming show of support from the community.
Jonas Marnell has painted a series of murals in Fitzroy in memory of his brother, including two three-metre-high portraits.
“My brother taught me to live life by my own rules and not by everybody else’s,” Marnell said.
“Lewis never let his illness stop him from becoming who or what he wanted to be.
“He was the most fearless and determined person I have ever met.”
Marnell said the exact cause of his brother’s death was a mystery.
“We are still looking for answers,” he said. “There have been some very dark days.”
Marnell said the family was still coming to terms with the loss.