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New mural for Argyle Street, Fitzroy
18 May 2015
A graffiti plagued apartment block in Fitzroy has become the latest building to offer up its walls to the area’s growing gallery of public art.
Tags, graffiti and faded stickers had slowly taken over the building’s external walls at the intersection of Argyle and Young streets.
Late last year, Council approached property owners and tenants with a proposal to paint a large scale mural over the graffiti in the hope it would reduce vandalism of its walls.
Several months later, artist Lachlan Plain has transformed the Fitzroy backstreet with his mural, Life on Planet Daisyworld.
Yarra Mayor, Cr Phillip Vlahogiannis, said the project was a creative and colourful response to combat the vandalism.
“The repeated vandalism of the walls of this building was a nuisance and created an eyesore. The efforts of our graffiti removal team were not having an impact. So, in seeking a different solution to the problem, our officers saw the opportunity to give a local artist a public ‘canvas’ to work with and give the building a new lease of life.
“Property owners and residents in the building helped us select the artist via an expression-of-interest process and the Victorian Government’s Community Crime Prevention Program provided $15,000 in funding to support the project.
“This really is a wonderful example of different levels of government and the community working together to achieve an outcome that benefits everybody.”
Cr Vlahogiannis said property owners were increasingly showing interest in commissioning artists to create large-scale murals on their homes or businesses.
“Over the past couple of years, Council has supported several mural projects in locations around Yarra, either by putting property owners in touch with local artists or by providing logistical support to allow artists to work safely,” Cr Vlahogiannis said.
“In most cases, Council is supportive of these requests because they can help reduce tagging and unsightly graffiti.
“Over a number of years, Fitzroy’s streets have emerged as an open air public gallery. The proliferation of these large scale murals is an exciting evolution of what has become an aesthetically pleasing urban landscape that reflects and expresses our community’s creative talent and heritage.
“The murals have generated positive comments not just from people who live and work here, but from tourists exploring our streets and from people around the world sharing these wonderful works through Instagram, Facebook and other social media.”
For more information on the Victorian Government’s Community Crime Prevention initiatives, click here.
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