The writing’s off the wall

This is from the Guardian…

The biggest loser of the Commonwealth games, says graffiti artist Banksy, is Melbourne’s street art scene – and London could be next for the whitewash… here is the story Guardian Unlimited Arts – The writing on the wall

Melbourne is the proud capital of street painting with stencils. Its large, colonial-era walls and labyrinth of back alleys drip with graffiti that is more diverse and original than any other city in the world. Well, that was until a few weeks ago, when preparations for the Commonwealth games brought a tidal wave of grey paint, obliterating years of unique and vibrant culture overnight.

I don’t know why he’s suprised, this is a town that doesn’t know how to deal with public art unless it’s Chloe. Back in 2002 in an interview with the the Age, Ron Robertson-Swann claimed Melbourne “had grown up a bit” in it’s appreciation of public art.
Ron Robertson-Swann is the sculptor who created “Vault” otherwise known as “the Yellow Peril”. Now this is a bloke who knows how well Melbourne handles this issue.

The article also notes that

“The City of Melbourne plans to spend $350,000 a year on public art in the next five years. “

It’s a pity that the State Government decided to spend a couple of million wiping public art out. Ironically rather than deal with the works they already have on the walls and buildings they are funding a “Young Artists Showcase” to bring fresh talent to Melbourne for the Commonwealth Games. I rather like

“Innovative, engaging and entertaining works will crop up in unexpected places – along Elizabeth Street and on the Republic Tower, across Melbourne’s city streets and urban spaces,” Ms Delahunty said.

and

“The Bracks Government is committed to providing more opportunities for our artists and audiences.”

Yeah, right.

I also note in the papers this week. That Kim Beasley wants to throw up a national internet firewall around Australia (to protect the kiddies) and John Howard is banning a video game where street art is a component. It’s all getting rather depressing.

It seems it doesn’t matter who we get in power it’s going to be back to the 50’s.

Update:
A NATIONAL blockade against internet pornography and violence is now a possibility after the Communications Minister, Helen Coonan, showed signs of buckling to backbench demands for action on this issue.

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