Street artist spruiks benefits of graffiti art

Camden Council has only just embraced the trend of street art but Wollondilly already has colourful displays in its towns.

Tahmoor resident and graffiti artist Joe Quilter is hoping that trend continues to grow in the shire.

Three months ago a business in Tahmoor commissioned Mr Quilter to spruce up a tried looking wall with a colourful mural.

He completed the artwork in three days after designing it and he already has another art project planned.

“Artworks are colourful, create a good vibe in the community, advertise businesses and create exposure for artists,” Mr Quilter said.

“They also boost tourism and the local economy because people travel to see art. Murals also reduce illegal tagging.

“I can’t say anything bad about them.”

Mr Quilter commended Wollondilly Council for being supportive of art projects, especially street art.

The council has run three street art projects with the help of Picton High School art teacher Jessica Gauci.

As part of a StreetART program, teenagers transformed old buildings at Emmett Park in Tahmoor, Warragamba skate park and Bargo skate Park into beautiful works of art.

The groups of teenagers completed three workshops prior to painting. They learnt airbrushing, drawing and stencilling techniques.

Mr Quilter said he would like to see the street art scene grow in the shire.

“There are some towns in Australia that have street art festivals,” Mr Quilter said.

“There are some professional graffiti murals in the shire.

“Wollondilly is slowly getting [an outdoor gallery] and it will be good to see it grow.”

Mr Quilter said some people struggled to distinguish between graffiti tagging and graffiti art.

“People see spray paint art and assume it is illegal graffiti,” he said.

“That is the same a assuming everyone who rides a Harley Davidson is a bikie.

“It is about educating and communicating with the community.

“Art is supposed to be challenging and its not just supposed to be generic.

“Artists can say a lot with their work.”

Mr Quilter said locals took an interest in his mural in Tahmoor when he painted it.

“People would come by, talk to me and say it was great,” he said.

“They took a great interest in the artwork and their feedback was positive.”

Mr Quilter said he valued community feedback about his artwork.

He said one of the business owners near the artwork at Tahmoor said the mural about cars did not relate or promote her nail salon.

As a result of her feedback, Mr Quilter will likely add to his artwork to make it more relevant to her business.

“Community consultant is important in the street art process,” he said.

“I value the feedback on the design and I want to work with business owners to make them as happy as possible.”

Mr Quilter lives and breathes art. He is a member of the Wollondilly Art Group and is doing a PhD on the applied ethics of graffiti and street art.

A new artwork was recently created a Harrington Park Basketball Court with an Australian wildlife theme and Currans Hill Community Centre will have a similar mural by the end of June.

Camden mayor Lara Symkowiak said everyone involved in creating the Harrington Park artwork had helped to create a vibrant piece of art that enhanced the built environment.