Ballarat street artist CAX says local artists should be used in any street art plan

COMMUNITY CONVERSATION: Ballarat City councillor Des Hudson has called for discussion on building a local street art collection. Picture: Lachlan Bence
COMMUNITY CONVERSATION: Ballarat City councillor Des Hudson has called for discussion on building a local street art collection. Picture: Lachlan Bence

A call for a Ballarat street art project has created community discussion on social media.

However local street artist CAX says Ballarat urban artists should be mainly used if the project gets the go-ahead.

“It should be built from the ground up,” CAX said.

“People see Benalla and that’s amazing stuff, good quality work, but I like the idea of using home grown artists rather than importing them.”

Ballarat City councillor Des Hudson has called for a similar street art project to Benalla’s Wall to Wall Festival, which has seen 28 large murals spring up all over the town.

International and national street artists painted the murals on vacant building walls over two weekends in March 2015 and again this year.

Benalla Street Art, a local organisation of artists who created the festival, said it had created a vibrant tourist attraction for the town.

CAX said he would back something similar in Ballarat but would prefer if it “built that quality of work from home”.

“There are lots of great street artists in Ballarat who have had no practice spaces.

“It took me 15 years to be recognised as an artist and 15 years of having to ‘steal’ my own canvases.”

CAX’s public art work has included the wall of the Skipton Street fish and chip shop, the ARC Studio in Sturt Street and the Telstra wall in the Bridge Mall.

He said Ballarat’s drains network was perfect for street art as it would provide a “massive long canvas”.

“Anywhere that already gets tagged would be perfect too. It’s making use of space that people are already interested in.

“Any abandoned buildings that sit vacant for years before they are demolished would be perfect too.”

CAX said he would support any street art project, including a festival similar to Benalla’s, as long as it was “approached right and engaged the community locally”.

On The Courier’s Facebook page, Carel Young agreed with CAX.

“The idea definitely has merit especially if it deters graffiti in certain areas. Something very original though, not a replica of somewhere else,” Carel said.

Lynn Browell said: “Absolutely YES. How awesome would a stunning Adnate or Rone look on the west side of the Regent Cinema”.

But Floyd Galea disagreed. “Ballarat needs more jobs and police before it needs art,” he said.