My interest in street art began a few years ago and I seek it out in my suburban discoveries. So, when I heard about a two-hour street art walking tour with Culture Scouts, I grabbed the opportunity to go along as a guest.
The first piece we are looking for has been removed in the last few days. This is the ephemeral nature of street art. Some pieces last years while others only a day or two. Council turns a blind eye on certain walls, but cleans up other walls regularly. And then there are those artists who paint over the work of others. We move on to a life size concrete washing machine, created and placed by Will Coles. We see more of Will’s concrete sculptures along the way including a balaclava and a forgotten shoe.
There are works by Lister, Bird Hat, Ears and Phibs. These days, wall owners often work with artists to have more control over what they have on their walls. As part of its program to promote tolerance and acceptance of street art, Marrickville Council has an innovative program called “Perfect Match” where Council funds an artist to create a work on a wall previously subjected to unwanted graffiti. The Railways, on the other hand, has a zero tolerance of Graffiti, prosecuting offenders and painting over graffiti with brown paint.
Graffiti vs Street Art
We learn that the difference between the graffiti and street art is grey. One explanation is that graffiti includes tagging and complex lettering that the average person on the street often can’t read. Whereas street art is the use of walls as a canvas for art. Some artists develop their skill through graffiti and ‘graduate’ to street art.
A tour is a great way to delve deeper into the world and language of street art. Culture Scouts helps to demystify street art and bring it to people like you and me. The tour ends with another first for me. A refreshing pale ale at the craft brewery, Young Henry’s.
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This is an edited version of what I wrote for another site – you can read the full version here.