MURAL ART: Artist Jamie Kirby wants to get the message out there that mural art is not bad and more people should get involved including the Council. Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail
MURAL ART: Artist Jamie Kirby wants to get the message out there that mural art is not bad and more people should get involved including the Council. Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail Mike Knott

Street art proposal



A LOCAL mural/ street artist wants to see Bundaberg splashed with beautiful colours and designs but is having trouble getting authorities on board with his ideas.

Jamie Kirby has been practicing the art form for two years and his artwork can be seen on walls throughout town including Oodies Cafe, Viva Italia, Scarlett Hair Designs and more.

"Everything I am aiming towards is to make the town better and a little more respectful for the younger generation and community," he said.

"I am only a legal artist. I don't have the time, money or patience for illegal graffiti.

"I feel as though with helping the younger generation and teaching them more about what I do will show that art on walls can be an amazing thing even with permission and in a controlled environment."

Mr Kirby said he had approached the Bundaberg Regional Council about setting up a street art event to paint one of the skate parks in the area but his proposal was turned down.

"Basically I want to turn the whole park into a mural," he said.

"Initially I wanted to set up a legal painting area for the whole community get involved in without getting in trouble. Otherwise I just want to make it more attractive."

"The council's response was half positive and half not. They basically can't do anything about it without the approval of parks and recreations which was just a really hard thing to get through."

Mr Kirby's other ideas include a mural street art festival.

"Festivals bring more awareness to the art side of things that are happening around town," he said.

"Take Toowoomba for example, the artists that get on board for the 'First Coat' festivals are world renowned, not only that but they include a lot of local talent from the region which gets the community involved and gets notice to the artists, therefore converting them from illegal graffiti/tagging into paid artists.

"It gets them off the streets and into a working situation."

Mr Kirby said he is having trouble getting council support for his ideas and is asking the community what they think.

"I want to set up a few legal walls where people can paint in a controlled environment," he said.

"I would be there running workshops to teach people the art form.

"It is very hard trying to get something like this up and running because council do not agree with it."

Community services spokeswoman Councillor Judy Peters said council supports urban art which is approved and managed by the asset owner.

"This may take on a 'graffiti style' but graffiti is illegal artwork," Cr Peters said.

"Graffiti is wilful damage of public or private infrastructure."

She said as part of the 2012 Crush Festival, council supported the Seven Arts in Seven Days program which saw seven professional artists create a wall mural in Electra St.

"Wall murals are different to legal walls for graffiti," she said.

"The concept of providing legal walls or legal opportunities for graffiti artists to express themselves so that they will not graffiti other spaces has proven to be flawed.

"Studies have shown that these activities actually lead to an increase in the incidence of graffiti in the community to the point that councils are actively removing these types of walls."

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