Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Ballarat’s bright idea to beat graffiti

City of Ballarat Council has a bright idea for a prominent wall at Little Bridge Street and Main Road intersections as part of an anti-graffiti initiative.

Local artist, Spencer Harrison has designed a vibrant mural for the wall, inspired by the architecture and history of the site, the iconic Stone’s clothing store. 

Spencer was a shortlisted artist in the recent Gallery Annex Wall program.  

Council says the inspiration behind the mural layout is the geometric grid structure on the original Stone’s store.  

Mr Harrison said the artwork will “explore the modern world and our urban environment, inspired by the historic architecture”.  

He said the colours chosen reflect a warm colour palette reminiscent of colours that might have been used in the 1950s and 1960s fashion available in the store during the era the current building was constructed. 

“I use colour, light and abstraction to create work that explores the modern world and the link to the iconic clothing store, and this should be evident in the bright mural that I will create,” said Mr Harrison.

“To simulate the transparency and sheen of light on fabric, I will carefully apply the colours to the grid structure of the original façade.” 

Council is commissioning the work as a trial of using public art as a form of graffiti prevention. Research indicates that public art and murals reduce the likelihood of the space being subject to graffiti, it said in a statement.

It will assess the effectiveness of the mural at preventing graffiti and look for further opportunities to improve the community through public art and other initiatives. 

The mural will be maintained by the building owner, with the artist conducting an annual quality review. 

Ballarat Mayor, Des Hudson said he was happy to see the city trialing innovative initiatives that address community concerns across the city.  

“We know no one likes to see graffiti in our community, which is why the City of Ballarat is working on important initiatives that look to improve the city’s streetscapes,” he said.  

“The bright colours of the mural will be a welcome sight in this area, and to be able to reference the design to the iconic Stone’s in Bridge Mall is wonderful to see. 

“Ballarat has an impressive collection of public art. Public art is important because it’s exactly that, it’s public, it’s free, and it’s open to everyone.”  

It is anticipated that the mural installation will take several weeks to complete. 

This mural will be the latest addition to the City of Ballarat’s temporary public art collections featuring established and emerging artists.  

Some of the current displays can be found at the Gallery Annexe Wall in Alfred Deakin Place, Unicorn Lane exhibition space, and the Grieving Mother statue at the Garden of the Grieving Mother memorial.

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