The environment surrounding Dapto train station is often a target for graffiti but one artist with a penchant for murals has set out to curb crime with colour.
Anthony Jones began pulling out spray cans on Monday to start creating a 48-meter-long artwork which will run along the side of PK Swim School on Marshall Street. It’s been the creative’s dream to paint that wall but it took him two years to find out who to get permission from.
Rotary’s Mick Chamberlain said he and his team are often spending hours of their own time each week making Dapto beautiful by cleaning walls like the above. He welcomed more public art as he said it deters offenders defacing walls.
“It’s been proven over the years that these big murals, only a small percentage of people touch it – they just don’t bother,” he said.
Spray artist Jones attested to this and said it was because of the mutual respect street artists had for each other.
“Most of the people involved in tagging usually respect people within that scene and most of the time whoever’s painted these murals they actually know who’s involved and usually they respect that,” he said
Mr Chamberlain was involved with the suburb’s first giant mural early last year (colourful birds next to Dapto Hotel) which has not been touched by vandals.
“We were going to put [an anti-graffiti gloss on it], but we had a testing period … and it hasn’t been touched, so we didn’t put that on,” he said.
In 2017 it cost Wollongong council a total $330,970 for the removal of graffiti around the local government area.
It’s a “love job” for Jones who is giving up 12 days of his time to complete the work. Wollongong City Council chipped in for materials which included 75 litres of undercoat and more than 200 spray cans of paint. While Coates Hire also provided a scissor lift for the occasion.
The Illawarra has become a breeding ground for giant murals – another recent addition an Indigenous inspired design by Warwick Keen on the side of Wollongong Art Gallery for its 40 year anniversary.