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Exploring graffiti art From the Ground Up

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Mick Pacholli
Mick Pachollihttps://tagg.com.au
Mick created TAGG - The Alternative Gig Guide in 1979 with Helmut Katterl, the world's first real Street Magazine. He had been involved with his father's publishing business, Toorak Times and associated publications since 1972.  Mick was also involved in Melbourne's music scene for a number of years opening venues, discovering and managing bands and providing information and support for the industry.        

It’s A to Z as you’ve never seen before with Port Phillip Council commissioning a series of graffiti art murals with an alphabetical theme to deter illegal graffiti while bringing colour to public spaces.

From the Ground Up saw 26 Melbourne street artists each create a mural across Port Phillip, representing a letter of their own name.

The brief was simple, let your imagination run wild, with the works often taking an abstract interpretation of the theme.

Project curator and lead artist, Ling, praised Council for positively promoting and celebrating graffiti art.

“The word graffiti generally has negative connotations. This project is extremely important as it focuses on the art form of graffiti,” he said.

“Each mural is broken down into something as simple as the letter A or B, which makes it far more welcoming to someone who might look at graffiti and say they can’t read it or don’t understand it.”

exploring graffiti art from the ground up
Artist: Ling – Photographer: P1xels

Ling’s letter L mural is on a pillar of an onramp to the Westgate Freeway in Madden Street, Southbank.

“The space itself is one of those non-descript areas of the City that just kind of lives in the shadows and doesn’t get any focus. Having the opportunity to use that space to create art has provided a point of difference in that area,” Ling said.

From the Ground Up is part of Urban Canvas, a project funded by the Victorian Government’s Community Support Fund, which aims to prevent graffiti vandalism through the installation of unique street art.

The selected locations are high-profile sites, mostly featured on third-party assets and were identified by Council’s Graffiti Management Team as illegal graffiti hotspots.
Usually, Council can’t remove graffiti or touch assets owned by the Victorian Government and third parties, such as utility suppliers and transport providers.

Under the Urban Canvas project, however, government agencies and companies including Yarra Trams, Telstra, VicRoads, Australia Post, Citipower, South East Water and VicTrack have given permission for Council to remove graffiti and commission art for their assets.

Port Phillip Council Acting Mayor Andrew Bond said Council completed 2,413 graffiti removal requests in the 2021-2022 financial year, which included the removal of 14,970 square metres of illegal graffiti across the City.

“Illegal graffiti is an unsightly issue for Council and our community. We’re taking a creative approach to tackle illegal graffiti which supports artists to bring colour and life to many locations across our City.” he said.

The murals will be highlighted as part of an exhibition on graffiti culture at the Carlisle Street Arts Space at St Kilda Town Hall. The exhibition opens on 16 December and will be showing until March.

For more information, visit: We’re supporting local art From the Ground Up – City of Port Phillip


Feature Image credit

Artist: Awes – Photographer: P1xels

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