Habitat-Ozzie – 4.7


Pull: Like the armies of Ghengis Khan, once Ozzie has destroyed and pillaged a room until it is literally uninhabitable, he simply picks up what he needs and moves on to desecrate another.

Ozzie Wright Habitat


The funny thing about Ozzie Wright’s pad is it’s a damn sight better when he’s not in it. Perhaps not better, but definitely cleaner. Ozzie lives in his mum’s house. It’s the house he and his sister Annie grew up in, and the house a stray cat named Freddy lived in for fifteen years before he finally passed on to pussy heaven.

It’s amazing Freddy lasted as long as he did, because Ozzie was always planning to assassinate him. “Once I put Freddy in my car and drove for an hour into the middle of the bush,” he explains with a fiendish cackle. “The plan was to leave him out there with an open can of cat food to help him get a head start in the wild.” Unfortunately, as is always the case with the cunning plans of criminal masterminds, the scheme was foiled when Ozzie rammed his Ford Laser straight into the side of an old lady’s BMW. In the ensuing drama, Freddy the feline was forgotten and lived to see another couple of years as the uninvited guest in Ozzie’s pad.


Freddy isn’t the only animal to have found sanctuary at the Wright household. From the street, this humble dwelling appears as a tropical oasis in the heart of suburbia. Surrounded by tall apartment buildings, Ozzie’s home is a stone’s throw from the ramping peaks of South Narrabeen (plenty of lucrative offers have been thrown at his mum by money-hungry suits-but she’ll never sell). According to Ozzie, all kinds of creatures have found quiet refuge in the luscious and vibrant gardens: “Sulfur-crested cockatoos, brush-tailed possums, two stone replicas of Ganesha the Hindu elephant god, a plastic pink flamingo, blue-tongued lizards, funnel-web spiders, and even Sam Carrier from time to time. I guess we get all sorts of wildlife.” Humans are also welcome in Ozzie’s home. It’s been a roof over the head of many of the world’s top pros from Bruce Irons and Barney to Jake Paterson and Maz Quinn.


In the years since Ozzie’s career has taken off, I’ve watched a disturbing pattern emerge in regards to his homestead’s appearance. When he’s away, the four bedrooms, generous living area, freshly remodeled kitchen, and spacious art studio out back are a perfect combination of tasteful modern-day interior design mixed with heart-filled homeliness and a pinch of elegance. Then he gets home and it all goes to seed. “He’ll move into the cleanest room and within a couple of days it looks like a bomb’s gone off,” cries his sister Annie, who as one of Sydney’s top up-and-coming fashion designers, can’t tolerate a world without order. “And do you think he ever cleans up?” She pleads to the heavens before adding the inevitable, “Never! Not even once!” Like the armies of Ghengis Khan, once Ozzie has destroyed and pillaged a room until it is literally uninhabitable, he simply picks up what he needs and moves on to desecrate another. And it doesn’t stop there.totally typaSUPJust getting to the front door becomes a mission when Ozzie’s home, as his coffin full of boards is usually dumped on the footpath leading up to the house-and there it stays. Unpacked. On the front lawn, for days, weeks, possibly months, until the phone rings. Then it disappears and suddenly the house starts looking nice again. totally typaSUPWhile Ozzie’s mess is now close to legendary (I once found an uncashed six-month-old sponsor’s check for 7,500 dollars lying under a pile of empty paint cans on the floor of his studio), you’ve gotta wonder how it affects the people who have to live with him. “It has it’s good points,” says Cathy, O’s mum. “The house is always full of beautiful paintings and sculptures. I just wish he’d do the dishes from time to time.”

Ozzie may not be interested in helping out with the daily chores, but he will occasionallly get the urge to renovate. “A couple of months ago I covered an entire wall in my room with all my old sneakers. I just stapled ’em in. It looked awesome,” Ozzie squeals. If that’s not every mother’s dream, then check this out: “At the moment I’m converting the studio into a sound-proof jam room for my band Astrograss.” But if the studio is gonna be full of guitars, then where will O do all his paintings? You guessed it. “I’ll just make one of the other rooms in the house my studio.”

It’s not surprising to learn Cathy and Annie have been trying to persuade Oscar to buy his own place. “He checks the papers for properties every now and again,” says Annie optimistically, before surveying the piles of dirty clothes and smelly socks littering the lounge. Then she sinks back into her chair and sighs, “Actually, I don’t think he’ll ever leave.”


And why would he? With gourmet meals every night, his homebreak a one-minute run down the road, and at least ten of his best friends living on the same block, O is one bird happy to stay in the nest: “It’s such an awesome old house and community. I don’t think I could live anywhere else.”-Adam Blakey