Artist or vandal: You decide

I’ve always appreciated ‘good‘ graffiti. Colourful swathes of paint, in an otherwise grey and sterile urban environment, fill me with joy. The talent of some of the graffiti artists who daub our walls is phenomenal.

Recent events however have made me question what is acceptable. Should any setting or environment be fair game? Jack Murray, a london based graffiti artist has taken it upon himself, to take his art out of the city and put it slap bang in the middle of a popular climbing area, the Llanberis Slate Quarries.

Jack Murray - Artist or vandal: You decide

Jack Murray – Artist or vandal: You decide

The cynic in me thinks that he probably knew that it was going to piss people off. That he wanted to be controversial, for the publicity that it would get him. Hell, even giving him space on my blog is more publicity, but without an open discussion, this trend could spread!

So, what’s acceptable?

Before now, I’d never really given it much thought. Quality must certainly come into it. I know I’ve seem some stunning graffiti, such as the example below!

Beautiful street art

Beautiful street art

I’ve also seen some awful tags and scribbles that at best look messy and at worst are often down right offensive.

In addition to quality, the setting of the piece is also important.

Does it add to the environment? Does it brighten up a dingy walkway? Does it make you giggle as you spot it out of the corner of your eye?

Graffiti in Ottowa - Picture courtesy of David at

Graffiti in Ottowa – Picture courtesy of David at

Does it inspire you or make you think?


These are all important things to consider when making your own decision on whether this is acceptable or not!

Before you make up your own mind, I’m going to jump firmly off the fence and give you my two-penneth!

In my opinion, graffiti has no place in such a beautiful and stark environment. The quarry is enjoyed by climbers (amongst others) who escape the city to enjoy the stunning scenery. It may be industrial, it may have metal cables sprouting from the mountainside like twitching tentacles of a robotic squid, but it’s fine just as it is!

If he had come and painted a scene that reflected the brutal nature of its setting, then it may have been different. Had it been a piece that explored the hardship of the quarrymen, the lives and deaths of honest workers, it could have held a different place in my heart, or maybe not.

If you would like to let Jack know your thoughts then his email is below.

If you are going to email him though, don’t just send hate mail. For all we know, it could be an honest mistake. Let’s just hope that we can make him see sense before he comes back and puts up a 20ft mural!

So what do you think? Artist or vandal? Misguided or misunderstood?

Get involved and leave a comment below.

3 responses to “Artist or vandal: You decide

  1. I like graffiti but think there’s a time and a place. Maybe thats cause I feel a connection to places like this. Makes me wonder if I would still like that graffiti in the city if it was my wall it’s was on.

    How’s things pal?

    • Hey dude, yeah I’m good man. How’s life treating you down south? Shame you missed out on Lundy, it was pretty awesome! Get on the 2013 trip! Are you still off travelling soon?

      • It is good down here, keeping busy but not manged to get onto any rock yet been having to much fun in the sea. Yeah lundy looked fun i’m enjoying your posts on it even if thye are making me a little jealous for missing it!

        Yes we are all set to goa abroad leaving in in Feb, so unfortunately I am going to miss another Linndy trip ;-(

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