04 June 2007

Investing in public art and young people in Manly

The trend in Manly's CBD 'to paint buildings in an asphalt colour to merge in with the car parks and roads' was mentioned before. Some local councils invest between $50,000 to $126,000 a year in “removing graffiti from public infrastructure.” In the sprawl-and-mall age, young people seek spaces away from bland sub-urbs.The apparent public space under constant surveillance becomes contested by youth wanting to make a mark. Many hundreds of years ago, it was a common practice here. Now, so it seems only the one that pays can speak and leave their mark in the minds of many. They call it advertisement. This is today's mechanism for inclusion and exclusion of public voice.
Yes, often the graffiti lacks social capital, but one could decide to invest the $126,000 in the education and training of the young 'vandals' and turn out muralists, artists and end up with a unique city. In times the young artists might even bless their place with a contemporary urban interface design.
On Banksy
Mexican Muralist
Northern Irish murals
Convert a digital photo to a multiple layered stencil
Image: 1. Manly CBD, 2. mural in Europe

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