Nothing spells new life on an old wall like a lick of paint. This couldn’t be more true than in the case of a few Braddon traders whose formerly grimy alley-facing walls were given a little lift back in late 2016, thanks to In The City Canberra’s (ITCC) investment in street art and collective talent of six local street artists: Kurt Laurenson and Byrd, John Vukovic, Faith Kerehona, James Houlcroft or “Houl” Dai Cameron.
The initiative, backed by the ACT Government, saw vibrant, original installations emblazoned on the walls next to Chez Frederic on Lonsdale Street and Knightsbridge Penthouse on Mort Street, heralding the beginning of another ITCC initiative in August 2017, the Tocumwal Lane Street Art Party. The publicly acclaimed event sought to build on the Braddon Street Art initiative by inviting members of the community to p-a-r-t-a-y in some of the City’s formerly grungy back-alleys, while learning about the differences between illegal, vandalism graffiti and approved urban art.
Urban art advocate and ITCC CEO Jane Easthope said “the commissioning of approved, urban art is something we need to encourage for our Canberra CBD and Braddon precincts. Not only does it bring colour and vibrancy to the city streets in otherwise disused or abused public spaces, but it says something about the city, local government and community that lives here; it says ‘we’re proud of our city and care about its up-keep’. This is important to convey not just to attract visitors to our city, but to inspire those living, working and commuting here on a daily basis.”