School turns tagging into a positive
A bad attack of tagging at Pukerua Bay School last year galvanised students, teachers and the community to investigate ways to eliminate tagging.
Help came from Porirua City Council through Richard Witheford- Smith, Porirua City Council’s graffiti reduction coordinator.
He offered to run the Tag Free Kiwi programme in the school, setting off a chain of activities involving the pupils.
In term 1 every class worked with local artist Emily Boonen to design and paint a mural in the local skate park.
The theme was ‘‘ nature breaking through’’ and it featured wildlife, fauna and flora of Pukerua Bay. The result was an impressive art work on the wall of the skate bowl.
At the school, artist Rachel Benefield worked with groups of students to create two stunning murals that showed off the superb marine environment off the coast of Pukerua Bay.
Benefield then wrote a play, communicating the message about tagging and its impact on people in the community.
The children took the message to heart and shared it during a recent school celebration day, which included a skating demonstration at the suburb’s skate park.
As part of the project, the senior pupils found out about street art graffiti and tagging as art forms and even created ideas based on the street art of Banksy for the school playground.
The children have had to decide whether there was a place for graffiti- style art that doesn’t vandalise property.
The seniors will do a field trip later in the year to monitor tagging on the rail line between Pukerua Bay and Porirua – with ideas to improve the situation.
Dave Redmayne from Porirua City Council and the team from Cheapskates provided prizes for the children for their work on the project.