Graffiti artists want more walls

Modern murals: Lismore graffiti artist Corey Mills believes Lismore would benefit from more spaces for street artists’ work.
Modern murals: Lismore graffiti artist Corey Mills believes Lismore would benefit from more spaces for street artists’ work. Jacklyn Wagner

LISMORE artist Corey Mills can spend hours designing a piece of work before another eight to 12 hours ‘putting brush to canvas’, or in his case spray can to wall.

There is only a handful of graffiti, or street, artists in Lismore but with just one wall near the river where they can legally paint, their work is regularly repainted before many people have an opportunity to enjoy it.

The high-school trained artist, who recently picked up the aerosol can again, would like more people to be given the opportunity to enjoy his work and that of his fellow graffiti artists.

“We’ve got walls in town that have been scribbled on (tagged) and it doesn’t look good for the city,” Mr Mills said.

“Perhaps if you have the council commission graffiti artists, it would make areas of the town look a lot better and people could see there are good artists out there using aerosol cans and not just brushes.”

However, Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell said she would be reluctant to see more graffiti walls around town – legal or otherwise.

She said she had previously believed that graffiti art walls reduced the number of people tagging, or scribbling on, buildings.

However, she has reconsidered her position as more evidence has emerged that it doesn’t reduce tagging.

“I don’t think taggers respect graffiti walls,” Cr Dowell said.

“The issue needs to be looked at very carefully in conjunction with crime prevention police and building owners.”

The State Government has also launched a crackdown on graffiti as part of Keep Australia Beautiful and has designated May 1 as ‘Graffiti Action Day”.

Police minister Michael Daley said the campaign aims to get the community involved in reducing graffiti asking them to report instances to Crime Stoppers.

“The best defence against graffiti, and the best way to help police drive down graffiti crime, is members of the public picking up the phone to report both the vandals, and the vandalised site,” he said.

“This is about reclaiming our streets, our laneways and our public spaces that have too often become ugly no-go zones that people try to avoid due to fear or perception of crime.”

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