UNSW Built Environment Planning: Spray Away – Jessica Irons (Planning 09)

25 01 2010

Spray Away: Making the case for legal graffiti as a legitimate form of public art in Sydney

Jessica Irons, Bachelor of Planning


Graffiti is increasingly being recognised by both professionals and the general public as having the potential to be used as a legitimate form of public art.  Graffiti’s history is firmly ingrained in the streets, providing the art form with a unique suitability for use in public domain projects.  One of the challenges faced by planners, artists and local authorities is that of differentiating between the legal and illegal forms of the practice, as well as educating the public on how the graffiti sub-culture can positively impact upon the community through youth engagement, development of young artists’ skills, and increased community pride and ownership.  This thesis will strengthen the case for the use of graffiti in public art projects in Sydney through a survey of existing policies, initiatives and projects relating to graffiti management in metropolitan Sydney. It involves an examination of tools and resources available to local councils that provide a context for the principles and actions necessary for implementing successful graffiti projects.  National and international case studies offer examples of how graffiti can be used successfully within the public art context with important implications for Sydney.

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