BALLARAT street artists have blasted the tagger who defaced a historic steam train in the city, saying the vandal has highlighted the gulf between legitimate street art and Ballarat’s growing tagging problem.
The members of the urban art community have condemned the tagger, who damaged the train during the Ballarat Heritage Weekend last month causing $15,000 damage, and say legal walls must be part of the solution.
Street artists Tyme, Sadi and Cax have almost completed another urban art mural in Ballarat, this time at Market Street Tyre and Auto.
The business commissioned one of their walls and provided paint to the artists, who have so far spent about 10 hours on the space.
Yesterday Tyme told
“There’s a level of respect,” he said.
“If you paint over someone’s work, it has to be a whole lot better.”
The 19-year-old said legal walls in Ballarat would drastically reduce tagging, but there would always be some who do the wrong thing.
He said Ballarat had about 60 street artists or taggers but 50 were below the age of 16.
“Everyone knows everyone in the graffiti community,” he said.
“As a graffiti writer you look for the clean stuff, but there’s a lot of dribble around — a lot of meaningless scribble.”
“The kid who did that train, we want his head.”
Fellow artist Sadi, 40, said he was only painting legal walls now after picking up the spray cans for the first time in 20 years.
He said he was teaching his 12-year-old daughter to paint — legally — and said more legal walls would help Ballarat’s tagging problem.
City of Ballarat councillor Des Hudson said legal graffiti areas were being considered and a report into possible spaces was only weeks away.
“At the moment we’re just continuing that conversation about where the best places might be,” he said.
“There are those that say we should be taking a zero-tolerance approach — and I agree for tagging. But when we’ve got legitimate street art, we need to keep our eyes open.”
Cr Hudson said areas such as the large concrete drains throughout parts of Ballarat could make good legal spaces, but said all possible areas would come out in the report.
“We’re in changing times and the idea of legal spaces for legitimate street art is something that we should explore.”