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Art Gives City Business An Edge Over Vandals

Graffiti Art Gives City Business An Edge Over Vandals

Reporters and photographers are invited to watch on Saturday (20 April) as three young graffiti artists work with an inner-city businesswoman to combat the graffiti vandalism her business has been suffering.

By producing a graffiti artwork on the wall of Re-Vamp hair design at 724 Gloucester Street, business owner Sari Seaward hopes to avoid having to pay any more to clean up her car park wall.

The artists are Jonny Wartmann, Michael Slade and Hamish Childs.

Sharon Williams, the Christchurch City Council’s Legal Art Co-coordinator, has brought the businesswoman and the artists together.

“Part of what I’m trying to do is weave communities and youth together,” Ms Williams says. “We’ve been doing these productions in different places around the city and they do three things – they give the young artists a pride in their work, it helps them to feel a valued part of the community, and it also keeps those areas from being tagged.”

The City Council has two sides to its graffiti strategy, reactive and proactive. The reactive side is the 0800-TAGGED line for people to report incidents of graffiti vandalism, which is then painted over.

Ms Williams runs the proactive side, which aims to reduce the incidence of graffiti vandalism. “It’s a process of education on both sides,” she says, “and it seems to be working. When we do a legal artwork production, that area doesn’t get tagged any more and it helps keep the surrounding area cleaner too.”

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