Have been waiting a few weeks to blog this one, sort of as an experiment really. Up the Gloucester Road, there’s a little alley running down to not much really, just backs of shops and some rough parking space. It’s always been covered in tags and throw-ups, remember one of the ‘DAYONE’ stencils there 10 years or so ago.
Here’s what’s on one wall at the moment, some interesting stuff to those who have an interest, but nothing that co-ordinated.
So, a few weeks back, Ziml went to the owner of the building on the other side of the alley, which looked pretty similar to the side above, and asked if they’d mind him painting a big piece on it. They were fine with it, glad to see the tagging go, so up it went.
Here’s a shot from the other side…
…and a bit of a closeup.
Now the reason it’s interesting is that in the three or four weeks it’s been up, no more tagging has appeared around it and the wall’s stayed as it is. The building owner’s happy, the artist’s happy, and presumably the people walking by it are happy too, or at least not that fussed either way.
But with the council’s graf policy as proposed, the only allowance made for such work is if the council deems that the piece has artistic merit (it seems unlikely they’re fans of wildstyle) or if a community group or the like has applied to the council to put a ‘mural’ up. Otherwise, technically, it seems like the piece would be at risk of being painted over with grey paint, ready for yet more tagging.
There seems to be such a big disconnect between the council and the majority of the ‘grafurbanstreet art’ community at the moment that most people don’t really seem to care what the council’s policy is. Understandable in a way, when a motive for graffiti can be doing it because it’s not approved of, or doing something regardless of what others think.
But it does sort of seem to be a shame, when the two sides could work together to brighten up a city that’s pretty grey in places, and make use of a massive resource of artists the city has for the benefit of all, that the council’s looking like sticking with pretty much the same thing it’s always done in this area. It’ll be interesting to see if situations like the above carry on under the new policy, or whether we’re doomed to yet more grey paint all over our streets.