Some people love to hate graffiti, but the best way to fight unsightly tagging is to encourage and celebrate public street art. By street art I mean work that has some thought and love put into it. Something that complements the space it’s in and inspires people passing by.
Hobart has a number of soulless wall spaces that have great potential to be enriched with street art. One example is the endless empty walls along the inner city cycle way. Another spot are those dark tunnels around that fountain near the ABC.
It’s not just a matter of brightening up some parts of town – there are serious legal implications for people if they graffiti, based on the view that it’s all vandalism. But clearly that’s not always the case. I think there should be a few places where it is agreed graffiti can be done without fear of arrest.
The Legal Graffiti Wall for Hobart group has been calling for an area to produce artworks for several years. They say that quality art is generally respected by other street artists, who will not just ‘tag’ over it. Many graffiti artists are highly skilled and their ideas and images are really inspiring.
Cities around Australia and the world are encouraging street art and spending resources only on removing the mindless vandalism. Sure one person’s art may be another person’s vandalism, so it’s not always easy. But its got to be a better situation than the one we have currently.
In Hobart we have a lot to gain from directing the creative energy of young artists in a positive way, a bit of street art could definitely enhance some of our ugliest bits of Hobart.