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.
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!
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?
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.