Posted by: theoriginalmiss | April 24, 2013

Street Art

Street art has never particularly been my area of interest, but I am interested in what one might say through street art, politically, socially or environmentally.  I am currently studying a design course towards my Masters entitled “Nexus Collaboration Innovation” that is running a project through COFA at UNSW entitled the Laneways Project .  This project will allow COFA students, and possibly the wider community, access to walls in some of COFA’s neighbourhood laneways, for the purpose of street art.  There are a few conditions but no restrictions on what one might “say”.  So as a class we are discussing how best to utilise this public place, and how best to engage the local community.

However, I think it’s important to distinguish exactly what is street art, and what is graffitti.  Of course, that must be a perennial problem for street artists – firstly, do people regard what you do as “art”?  And secondly, what if your street art is subsequently graffittied…does it detract from your original intention or message, or add to it?  This gallery is just a selection of street art and graffitti that I have photographed over the last year or so in both Australia and abroad, namely London and Venice.  The differences are sometimes stark, and sometimes not.  Since I don’t understand Italian, some of the Italian “graffitti” might have a deep and meaningful context for someone other than the (graffitti) artist, but I don’t know – maybe someone can enlighten me?  Also is the “big bench” on the Line of Lode at Broken Hill street art or merely gimmicky street furniture, and how does one tell the difference between the two?

The last photo is my only attempt so far at street art, done on the Nexus course, and is a paper cut out of a possum I drew, placed in juxtaposition to both a window/air vent to a car park and a street sign.  I guess I’m trying to address why urban biodiversity is important? Or highlight the fact that humans have, for the most part, successfully pushed native species out of our cities and on to the fringes, where many are not faring extremely well – but that is a matter for another post.  What I am interested in here is whether street art is effective at selling a message.  What do you think?

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