Late last year, we were contacted by the P & C at Coolnwynpin State School as they had some ideas about how they wanted to update their tuck-shop area. The school also had a few sketches and ideas about the space as previously, they had run a design competition with the students to involve the students in the process. The P & C also wanted the sign to match the theme of the previous mural Sauce had created at the school.
Last Sunday, I was part of an eight namer on the back of a factory wall in Capalaba. I really enjoyed painting some good old fashioned graff and it was great to see some many different lads from numerous crews all painting alongside each other.
A massive shout out to Kosie for doing all the hard yards with organising the gig and colour scheme. With so many walls being painted over and shut down, it’s a rare moment to have free range and paint something intrinsically motivated as opposed to a brief. It was even better to see all the lads out, as I’m sure that between us all there is a century of experience.
I can’t wait to do it all again soon.
Today (11/5/12) I was made aware that one of my largest murals was replaced with corrugated steel and security cameras. The initial mural was designed and painted in February 2006 by myself and two other local aerosol artists. The whole process was subject to rigorous control regarding the mural content and the design. This was done to ensure the final outcome would provide a cost effective solution for graffiti prevention in the area and to ensure the then Redland Shire Council and the building owner were satisfied with the aesthetic qualities of the wall.
I am extremely frustrated by the installation of the cameras and corrugated steel as I was not contacted nor made aware this would be happening at any stage. Specifically with this site I had contacted council a number of times regarding the preservation of the mural as the site had deteriorated and undergone structural maintenance over time. It was also subject to some minor incidences of graffiti, however this is to be expected over the six year period which the artwork existed for in such a location. My discussions with council involved a new design for the area and in late 2010 I was commissioned to paint “New Artwork Coming Soon” which led me to believe I was still in the process of drafting a new mural for the existing site.
What I find offensive about this process is the lack of adequate communication from council regarding the outcome of this site. The mural has received much support from local community members and has been method of successful graffiti prevention. The council liked it so much it was featured in the Annual Budget for 2005-06 and specified “The incidence of graffiti is reduced in Redland thanks to artwork in public spaces” It was also pictured in Our City Our Culture a ten year cultural Plan adopted by Redland City Council where it was used to depict a statement about inclusvity of culture and youth. It was also featured in (Un)Commissioned Art an A-Z of Australian Graffiti written by Christine Dew as legitimate piece of public art, defining it as a colourful contribution to the area.
The most disappointing outcome of this site is the removal of legitimate artwork, which provided colour and a break from the dull and drab monotones of the urban landscape. The artwork was the result of three creative and talented people and with adequate communication from council’s behalf I am sure we could have arrived at a more satisfying outcome for all stakeholders involved. The irony of this, is the removal of artwork which featured a koala. Recent steps taken by council show much support for koalas and public art with the “Environmental Art Project”, focusing on youth and koalas.
Where to from here? I would much appreciate your support by contacting the local Councilor for the area, Paul Gleeson on: 07 3829 8999. Feel free to leave your comments below as I would like to hear your thoughts on this matter.
Below are photos of the mural, new design and the now blank wall. I have also included emails from relevant council staff, where I was dicussing the future of the wall to which I am still awiting a reply.
From: Christian Griffiths [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Monday, 22 November 2010 3:44 PM
To: Byron Shreeve; Cr Karen Williams; Alex Mc Connell
Subject: Capalaba Square/Bus interchange mural
As you are aware I have been working on a new design to freshen up the Capalaba bus interchange wall. I am keen to present my proposed concept and discuss options for funding and a timeline for installation. I am available late afternoons and would appreciate if you could please advise me of a time that may be suitable to meet.
Aerograffix - Awesome Aerosol Art
PO Box 372 Capalaba Queensland, 4157
+61 409 068 980
On 22/11/2010, at 4:07 PM, Byron Shreeve wrote:
Sounds Great where would you like to meet?.
I can arrange a meeting room here at council if you wish?
I’m available most afternoon myself. I’ll try and work around the others schedules to make it a bit easier to bring together.
If you would like to meet at council, please give me a rough time & date that suits Alex & yourself and I’ll book an available room.
I would like Elise Parups RCC Community Cultural development officer to be invited to this meeting as she may be able to assist with the project by giving some information on how we can access the funds necessary for this project.
From: Christian Griffiths <email@example.com>
Date: 10 January 2011 2:49:12 PM AEDT
To: Byron Shreeve <Byron.Shreeve@redland.qld.gov.au>
Subject: Capalaba Bus interchange
Hi Byron, Karen and Alex,
It has come to my attention a tag has appeared on the Capalaba bus interchange mural. To have any chance of keeping this area tidy I recommend we need to take the following courses of action:
1: Cut the 2 trees back to a manageable height to allow the mural to be seen, allow lighting to penetrate the site and stop berries dropping on the concrete causing a trip hazard and jamming trolley wheels causing them to scrape the wall.
2: Commence regular aerosol art workshops and education regarding sub-cultural issues in relation to youth and graffiti. Council needs to embrace cultural policy (POL - 2706) stating: “3. nurturing the creative core of community cultural development through providing strategic support for local arts and heritage activities” and “5. providing dedicated public cultural facilities that present professional programs in all art forms that engage diverse audiences and participants and that develop the skills and ideas of local artists” as there is still nowhere for youths to paint legally or engage in legal projects. Furthermore “11. monitoring the diversity and scope of cultural development opportunities in the Redlands to ensure equitable access by people of all ages and locations” The graffiti management policy also states “7. Providing cultural and developmental opportunities through the engagement of the community in graffiti prevention and diversionary activities and programs.” and “8. Providing guidance to the community on the development of art murals and the management of mural projects.”
3: Allow opportunity for all stakeholders to work together to get this fantastic opportunity for a fresh new artwork happening. Public at policy (POL - 3046) states ”Encouraging collaborative arrangements between artists and design professionals in the creation and commissioning of public artworks.” but if council officers are not permitted to meet to discuss such projects, it will prove a difficult project to gain adequate support.
4: Pay for works as per agreed timeframe. The maintenance work carried out on the 8th Nov was not paid on time despite several reminders. A late fee was issued and is now also overdue. Aerograffix has previously written to council and successfully applied to be on a 28 day payment schedule. The payment terms agreed for the work undertaken were 30 day as stated on the invoice provided.
I am more than happy to discuss these points in more detail. A design concept and project proposal have also been developed and I wish to present at the earliest opportunity. Take care and I look forward to working with you on this project during 2011,
PS I am again off to Tassie as I have been selected as one of nine finalists in the Sheffield International Mural Fest. Keep you eyes peeled for website updates.
Aerograffix - Awesome Aerosol Art
PO Box 372 Capalaba Queensland, 4157
+61 409 068 980
From: Christian Griffiths <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Capalaba Bus interchange
Date: 21 February 2011 1:32:35 PM AEDT
To: Byron Shreeve <Byron.Shreeve@redland.qld.gov.au>, Karen Williams <email@example.com>, Alex Mc Connell <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From the photographs supplied I have reason to believe graffiti removal has been unsuccessfully carried out at the bus interchange mural. I would like to question the reasoning in this measure as I have previously contacted yourself (see communications dated 10th Jan) about this issue with a plan and solution. In future I would appreciate to be contacted before this occurs as as stated in the initial proposal, the use of chemicals and/or a high pressure cleaning device has a damaging effect to the integrity of the artwork. Again as outlined in the proposal, it was noted the wall was not sealed with any anti-graffiti matter, making graffiti removal an inappropriate response.
I am still willing to meet at your connivence to discuss and present the design concept and proposal to rejuvenate this site. It is clear the intermediate approaches are not a sufficient method dealing with this issue.
Ok, so I have just heard from the building owner council was aware the mural would be covered over. The owner is currently unhappy with my stance on the matter as the they are claiming ownership of the wall which is on the boundary of the owner’s land and council owned land. However as the artwork was required to be scrutinized by the Public Art Advisory Panel, I was contracted and paid by council and all further modifications to the mural, including the words “New Artwork Coming Soon” were paid by council I assert the wall is owned and under the direction of council.
Additionally, any modifications or building constructions to the site would need to be approved by council in the interests of public safety. In this case I can confirm after conversations with the building owner council was specifically made aware of the corrugated construction. At no stage was I informed the site would be modified, or my artwork would be disregarded. As I have been actively seeking communications from council and the building owner I can only express my frustration and disappointment that another quality and legitimate public artwork has been removed.
Over the past decade I have built my business on the platform of legitimate and legal artwork using aerosol and graffiti styled artwork, and this is just one of the many recent set backs where a government body has provided a disincentive for all of my efforts. I don’t blame those who engage in illegal aerosol art for doing so as clearly, there are no avenues for creative individuals to express their ideas and enliven the urban landscape. Basically, if I can’t keep my artwork on wall which are paid for and praised by council, what hope have the kids got?
It just gets more exciting here at the Sauce Factory. This is what I received this morning
Today we were advised By Mr McConnell the owner of the ANZ bank building that he had effected repairs to his building to try and stop some water seepages issues he was encountering at this location. As a result of these repairs that were undertaken by the ANZ Bank, the mural Council contracted you for in 2006 has been removed/sheeted over.
We apologise for the late notice in notifying you of this work as we were only informed of this repair work today, our previous discussions with Mr McConnell he was still investigating his options.
Council has no immediate plans for new mural works to be conducted at this site and any work conducted at this site will require a new agreement with the building owner.
Community Safety Officer|Strengthening Communities Unit|Redland City Council
Ph: (07) 3829 8574 | M: 0408 872 512 | F: (07) 3829 8891
So this is what I replied with:
Just for the record…
Redland Shire Council Annual Report 2005-06, page 27.
Local Government Showcase May 2007, page 11.
Our City Our Culture, a Cultural Plan for the Redlands 2008-2018, page 16.
Our City Our Culture, a Cultural Plan for the Redlands 2008-2018, page 22.
Community Safety Strategy 2011.
Capalaba Art Walk.
The freshy renovated Bambini Early Chidhood Development Centres at Capalaba and Coombabah had a number of walls ideal for murals. I got busy creating several brightly coloured feature murals to complement the new look modern centres. Here’s a snapshot of some of the artworks.
A new species of koala has emerged in Redland City and the surrounding areas. The new species is related to Phascolarctos cinereus, however the “Urban Koala” has evolved unique characteristics which include the ability to adapt to suburban environments and a resistance to the STD chlamydia which is devastating other species of koala. A rapid increase numbers is evident as the urban koala can be sighted almost anywhere, anytime, often appearing in shopping centres, cinemas and schools. Commissioned studies have indicated the urban koala can be linked with developers, often sighted carrying briefcases full of cash. This new breed does not display noticible differences in physique to its gum tree dwelling counterpart but it has learnt a basic grasp of the english language and can be heard, regularly stammering, “sorry, that’s not my department”. The koala also displays an ability to write policy documents as it has infiltrated a range of government jobs. Despite being one of approximately sixteen thousand threatened species, the urban koala has successfully dominated local media ensuring youth, community, indigenous and other relevant issues are rarely mentioned. Now positioned at the top of the food chain, the urban koala dictates a complete control where all things are regulated and creative ideas are excluded guaranteeing conformity.
Humans are now the endangered species.
Too wet for work today so Kosie and I went for a paint!
After a discussion with Brian Hurst the editor of The Redland Times I am pleased to announce a clarification will be printed which declares Sauce from Aerograffix as a legitimate aerosol artist (but you already knew that). Keep your eyes peeled!
A mural volunteered by Sauce in 2008 at The Rage Cage, Capalaba.
Upon completing this mural I also signed the the back…
See the article published: The Redland Times, August 13, 2010, page 6
“Laming Promises Graffiti and CCTV Camera Funds” (13/8/10)
The article written by Jenna Daroczy is grossly incorrect and the picture featuring Dr Laming, Cr Karen Williams, Pauly Gray and Peter Grieve is specifically incorrect as it features art work and not graffiti. The picture shown in the article in dispute is depicted as a representation of graffiti in need of removal. However on the other side of the picture as shown in the article, is a mural by a voluntary artist who has permission from council to apply artwork at the site. It needs to be noted the picture as displayed in the paper is of a signed piece of artwork and not a tag as insinuated in the article. This is an example of what is featured in Stanley Cohen’s Folk Devils and Moral Panic where news papers reporting on crime and specifically youth related crime vilify and incorrectly target petty crimes and misrepresent the truth. None of which is beneficial to the wider community.
Although the funding as reported in the paper is policy driven and based on Liberal party ethics, it could be suggested the money was better directed elsewhere. The article further explained “The council has a lot of good initiatives place, this funding will just help them to roll out more of that faster” (Laming et al Daroczy, 2010). Alongside this, the article further explained how graffiti is removed or in some cases, artists are allowed to participate in “big murals that allow people to express their aerosol art publically without vandalising property” (Greive et al Daroczy 2010). It is possible to rebut this as on many occasions local aerosol artist, Christian Griffiths from Aerograffix has volunteered his skills, expertise and equipment when it comes to large scale murals without adequate support from local council. He is also a qualified youth worker and has been prepared on many occasions to facilitate workshops involving young people focusing recidivist offenders and linking them into community projects which engage them in interpersonal skills. All of this has been ignored in the article and further ignored by organisers within local council. Aerograffix has been involved with countless rural and regional councils with a high level of success, however in comparison the Redland City council has been obstinate and stagnate when it comes to youth issues and more specifically the subject of graffiti.
It is important to note Aerograffix understands the need for the media and journalists to publish articles of public interests to its readership. Furthermore, Aerograffix understands the need for politicians to campaign on issues which the majority of constituents of an electorate are concerned about and in this case Liberal candidate Dr. Andrew Laming has chosen to publicise the issue of illegal graffiti. This instance proves how The Redland Times has misrepresented the facts and avoided use of the Media Entertainment and Arts Code of Conduct (current) by failing to uphold section one which describes the importance of accuracy of facts and nine which states “Present pictures and sound which are true and correct. Any manipulation likely to mislead should be disclosed <#_ftn1> .” As a picture of an artwork associated with Aerograffix has been used in the instance of dispute it is possible to argue The Redland Times has publicly defamed the name of a local business. This instance of gross manipulation of facts has been overlooked by both the journalist and editor of the local paper and is indicative of poor journalism and does not aid the campaign of Liberal candidate Dr. Andrew Laming as it shows a lack of regard for local business. It also shows how The Cage, a local youth initiative driven by the Christian faith ideals is tokenistic by using the artwork of a local individual, without asking for comment of the artist in question and attempting to justify this by claiming the group is involved with aerosol art murals. If the journalist had researched for the article or looked at the other side of the artwork in question, it is possible to find www.aerograffix.com </> which has further information and contact details of the artist Sauce.
Ainslie Meiklejohn- Griffiths,
Publications Manager, Aerograffix.
 <#_ftnref1> www.alliance.org.au/code-of-ethics.html <http://www.alliance.org.au/code-of-ethics.html>
As seen on CCTV
“As seen on CCTV” questions where beauty belongs and challenges the notions of normality. The concept in contention is the aesthetics of the natural environment as juxtaposed with the human made concrete cities and sprawling suburbs. A creative response to the dull urban areas challenges the status quo and begins to create ideas of art within a contextual challenge. An askew horizon which compliments the three dimensional abstract suggests a hyper reality and the theme of challenge within an oppressive hegemony. This piece also questions the concept of self-expression in the suburbs as this is increasingly being threatened by the limitations of privacy as dictated by an authoritarian style of surveillance. Big Brother closes in on progressive free thought and dominates ownership of place to ensure conformity.
After a discussion with Brian Hurst, the editor of The Redland Times, I am pleased to announce the paper will be printing a clarification concerning the article which lables Aerograffix’s artwork as graffiti. A big YAY!