Graffiti art in the Tweed could end up in an art gallery or under a coat of paint. This example is under the bridge on Dry Dock Rd.
Graffiti art in the Tweed could end up in an art gallery or under a coat of paint. This example is under the bridge on Dry Dock Rd. John Gass

Public art or plain nuisance?

THE Gold Coast City Council's opposition to graffiti is stifling street art, according to a former Gold Coast artist.

Street artist Shida said there were still many talented artists on the Gold Coast despite the restrictions.

"The Gold Coast is not the most supportive place for the arts and the council strongly opposes both street art and graffiti," Shida said.

"It's not easy with the council and police shutting down all legal walls in recent years and laws becoming increasingly severe."

Shida said there was an element of artists wanting to break the rules but that was part of self-expression.

"Yes, it's vandalism at times, but it's also a symbol that people are free and not everyone is happy with the way things are," he said.

"It's quite ironic that I get paid to paint murals, while others I do (for free) are constantly being removed."

Gold Coast City Council is appealing to the community to help in its fight against vandalism.

A Gold Coast City Council spokesman said as part of its graffiti-prevention project, council provides opportunities for artists to be involved in murals.

"For example, artists are able to submit designs for the traffic signal box art program Artbox," the spokesperson said.

"To date, over 120 traffic signal boxes throughout the city have been beautified by talented local artists.

The spokesperson said assets along main roads, railway corridors and bus routes are often targeted because of the visual appeal.

The council spends about $1.6 million per annum removing graffiti from private property and responded to more than 15,000 jobs reported annually on a graffiti hotline.



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