December 11 2013 Latest news:
By Victoria Kalbraier
Thursday, April 4, 2013
A street artist has hit back at the town’s critics and defended his artwork in Upper Orwell Street after the area was portrayed as run-down during coverage of Prime Minister David Cameron’s recent visit.
Scott King, 40, of Hatfield Road, started his street art business, Aroma Designs, in 2009 and was commissioned by Ipswich Borough Council to paint the mural.
He said: “I was interviewed by the BBC at the time – all positive stuff – and next minute it’s just downright vandalism. It’s a bit hypocritical really.
“They’re putting Ipswich down and saying about all the empty shops – but it’s everywhere, it’s not just here.”
“London, where I’m from, is just as bad – they should sort London out before coming up here criticising Ipswich.”
Mr King moved to Ipswich from the capital 13 years ago and is proud of the town.
“I love Ipswich,” he said. “I got my career here.”
“It’s nice, people are quite understanding and a bit more open here. In London, people don’t give you two minutes.”
Mr King has been commissioned to paint murals and street art all over the town – working with the council and schools including Whitton, Rosehill, Clifford Road Primary and Ipswich Academy.
“It’s a bit upsetting to see it as vandalism,” he said. “It makes me look bad.”
“I run it as a business and it’s portraying me as a vandal.”
“This was my first commission, that’s why it hurt a bit when people were having a go at it – I think people should respect it.”
The mural has suffered some vandalism since it was first painted and Mr King intends to freshen the piece up in the coming months.
He said: “I’m going to brighten it up in the summer, get rid of all the graffiti, neaten it all up and add a few new bits. “
“I’m going to add a few buildings, like the Waterfront – a few buildings people know from round the docks, just to add a little bit.”
“I think I’m going to add something a little bit new here this summer, just so people go wow.”
Mr King believes street art has a bad reputation and it should be viewed in a more positive way.
“It’s quite a political thing to get into, graffiti,” he said. “You’ve got two sides to it – I’m a street artist, I prefer doing a big bright picture – I’m not the sort that just goes around writing tags everywhere.”
“It’s bringing people into this part of town and four years later, it’s not bad.”