Art to tackle graffiti wall

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Artist Rebecca Murray with her mural she painted on wall at Jesmond Park Jesmond. Picture: Phil HearneWHERE once there was graffiti-stained brick now stands a vibrant representation of Australia’s colourful native flora and fauna.

Once among the suburb’s most regularly tagged buildings, the dressing sheds in Jesmond Park now blend in with the tree line behind.

And Teralba-based artist Rebecca Murray, who recently completed the five metre by eight metre mural, hopes her work will deter artists from spray-painting there again.

It’s all part of Newcastle City Council’s anti-graffiti mural program, which is reviving some of the city’s ugly spaces.

As well as the art work in Jesmond Park, Ms Murray has painted murals in Kotara Park and on the exterior of Alder Park Bowling Club.

She hoped the large scale murals provided pleasure to people who used the area every day.

‘‘I wanted [the Jesmond Park mural] to blend into the environment as much as possible and disguise the ugly brick building as best I could,’’ she said.

‘‘It was one of the worst hit walls in the area in terms of graffiti and the idea behind the program is that graffiti artists tend to steer away from walls that have been painted by an artist, hopefully out of respect, but I also think they like the bare walls because their tags and imagery show up a lot better. ‘‘I think murals give pleasure to a lot of people, this one in Jesmond is in such a central part of the community and it something that people would see everyday.

‘‘It’s in an environment which is beautiful and to make it even more beautiful is an honour.

‘‘There is a lot of job satisfaction that comes with this sort of work, you get constant compliments.’’

Ms Murray runs Flying Spanners Gallery and Studio at Teralba with fellow artist Patricia Smart.

Newcastle City Council’s Manager of Facilities and Recreation Phil Moore said the art work had the desired effect. ‘‘Jesmond Park is frequently used for weddings and the camouflaged wall will make a much nicer backdrop for events and photos,’’ Mr Moore said.

‘‘Rebecca Murray did an excellent job with this mural as she did for one she completed previously at Kotara Park.

‘‘We have received a number of compliments on her work and people feel that the mural design really suits the park.”