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The rising street art scene in Canberra

Artists in action at Tocumwal Lane. Photo: Scherry Bloul
Artists in action at Tocumwal Lane. Photo: Scherry Bloul

No longer known as the boring and dreary public service town, Canberra’s has had new life injected into it.

The Tocumwal Lane pARTy has set the stage for the rising street art scene with more of its kind to come.

On a Sunday in late March, Canberra street artists converged on Tocumwal Lane, already known for its free parking spots and smelly dumpsters, and transformed the back alley’s birch grey walls into a superhero wonderland.

Located off Bunda Street, the pARTy brought together 24 artists and Canberrans of all ages, whilst local DJ Juzlo turned some hip-hop beats.

Event organiser and founder of Graffik Paint Geoff Filmer said the superhero themed art day brought a much-needed make over to the loading zone laneway.

“The walls were all a bit yuck…[the alley] was just getting tagged a lot and now we’ve changed it into a location for people to come and see and probably photograph in front,” he said.

Geoff said he was flabbergasted by the turnout and estimated about 500 to 600 people passed through.

The superhero theme was so the art interacted with the giant batman, who already occupied space on the wall above the many garbage hoppers.

Indeed, each artist had their own space to interact with and they each did so, differently. The pre-organised concepts were illustrated through different mediums -some artists had stencils, some braved the freehand.

Event sponsor Canberra CBD Limited’s CEO Jane Easthope said the event brought a unique cultural art form to the thriving city’s landscape.

Not only that, but, the cost to remove unwanted graffiti from walls costs Canberra CBD approximately $600,000 per year.

“At least twice a week, Canberra CBD Limited removes graffiti from privately owned building walls in the CBD…Urban art deters graffiti because the vandals tend to respect urban artists,” she said.

Storm’s [from X-Men] creator, tattoo artist Anna Keightley –now based in California– said the lane party allowed the public and kids to see artists in action.

“Canberra is finally reaching out to its artists and helping us to connect with one another and the community,” said the 25-year-old.

“It was especially cool for the handful of lady artists to see each other at work and appreciate that we are in the scene too.”

The Property Council of Australia said the party could be the start of a street art revolution to transform the city into a “cool capital”.

Canberra CBD is now on the lookout for more places in Civic to undergo a makeover, there is talk of turning Bible Lane –behind Academy nightclub– into the next new metropolitan hangout.

What’s the difference between graffiti-street-art-and-tagging?

Geoff Filmer explains the difference between Graffiti, Street Art and Tagging and the importance of working wiht your space.
Geoff Filmer explains the difference between Graffiti, Street Art and Tagging and the importance of working with your space. Photo and manipulation: Scherry Bloul

With Scherry Bloul



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Some of these artists match up to those photos...found via instagram: @george_rose @sprinkles_ @annaktattoo @houlart @v01r @sassy_sol

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