Graffiti mural gets the go-ahead

GENIUS or ghastly, masterpiece or monstrosity?Fierce debate around graffiti art is likely to rage in Ipswich after 40 youngsters were given the go-ahead to get to work on a huge mural in the town.

GENIUS or ghastly, masterpiece or monstrosity?

Fierce debate around graffiti art is likely to rage in Ipswich after 40 youngsters were given the go-ahead to get to work on a huge mural in the town.

Work to paint a huge riverside wall behind Ranelagh Road, which measures 140ft by 12ft will get under way on Monday, August 20, for four days.

A total of 40 youngsters involved with Ipswich youth groups Making Tracks and 4YP will have a series of workshop sessions with two “spray can artists” to help prepare them for the task.

For decades spray paint graffiti has proved a controversial form of youth expression that consistently divides opinion.

Many see it as pure vandalism while others acclaim the work of underground street artists such as Banksy as masterpieces.

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Thousands of pounds have been spent on special squads to clear up scrawls and “tags” in Ipswich but council chiefs are now attempting to address the problem by nurturing artistic talent.

Hannah Besley, community safety officer for Ipswich Borough Council, said: “There have been issues around graffiti in the town and we have been banding ideas around as to how we can change this.

“We have graffiti teams that remove it but we are looking at prevention work as well and this project enables youngsters to take pride in what they are doing.

“When people come into Ipswich by train they will be able to see positive images on that wall created by young people living here.”

Statistics collated by the council indicates that the Westgate, Alexandra, Bridge, Stoke Park and Gipping areas of Ipswich experience the highest levels of graffiti.

A great deal of graffiti is also found in the town centre with the most common forms being “tagging”, “dubbing” (3-D style tags) or stencils while vinyl-backed sticker featuring tags are also popular.

Do you think graffiti artists in Ipswich should be nurtured or nicked? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail

Factfile - Banksy

n. Banksy is a well-known yet anonymous English graffiti artist, possibly named Robert Banks who is believed to hail from Yate near Bristol.

n. His artworks are often satirical pieces of art which encompass topics from politics, culture, and ethics.

n. His street art, which combines graffiti with a distinctive stencilling technique, has appeared in London and in cities around the world.

n. Banksy's stencils feature striking and humorous images occasionally combined with slogans.

n. The message is usually anti-war, anti-capitalist, anti-establishment or pro-freedom. Subjects include animals such as monkeys and rats, policemen, soldiers, children and the elderly.

n. He also makes stickers and sculptures and was responsible for the cover art of Blur's 2003 album Think Tank.

Source: Wikipedia

Factfile - Graffiti

n. Graffiti is the name for images or lettering scratched, scrawled, or more usually spray-painted on property that does not belong to the artist, and which is often regarded by others as unsightly damage or unwanted vandalism.

n. Graffiti has existed since ancient times, with examples going back to Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire.

n. It can be anything from simple scratch marks to elaborate wall paintings.

n. In modern times, spray paint and markers have become the most commonly used materials.

n. In most countries, defacing property with graffiti without the property owner's consent is considered vandalism, which is punishable by law.

n. Sometimes graffiti is employed to communicate social and political messages.

n. To some, it is an art form worthy of display in galleries and exhibitions.

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