STREET ART IS ADDING VI­BRANCY TO THE RE­GION, BUT IS IT YOUR CUP OF TEA?

BANKSY IS IN­TER­NA­TION­ALLY FA­MOUS FOR TURN­ING GRAF­FITI INTO HIGH ART. CLEVER IMAGES BY AUS­TRALIAN ARTISTS ARE POP­PING UP ON PUBLIC SPA­CES ACROSS THE SUN­SHINE COAST, ADDING VI­BRANCY TO OUR CBDS, BUT IS IT YOUR CUP OF TEA?

Life & Style Weekend - - WELCOME - WORDS & PHOTOS:ERLE LEVEY

Street art on the Sun­shine Coast – is it graf­fiti or an art form? Banksy and the likes pi­o­neered this form of ex­pres­sion that has spread world­wide.

There it is ... far and wide. And this art form at­tracts.

Mel­bourne is mak­ing a name for it­self with the art­work in the lanes op­po­site the Na­tional Gallery of Vic­to­ria and the in­ner city.

But have you seen the art that is emerg­ing on the Sun­shine Coast?

The ocean mu­ral on the machin­ery shed at Mar­coola has long caught the at­ten­tion of vis­i­tors and Sun­shine Coast­ers alike, for the way it cap­tures the coastal life­style.

Now there are pock­ets of street art in Wil­liamson Lane in Caloundra, Ocean Street in Ma­roochy­dore and around the CBD in Nam­bour for in­stance.

The back lanes. What does that mean? Un­der­ground art, anony­mous ex­pres­sion, art for those from a cer­tain de­mo­graphic ... edgier than a mu­ral yet more artis­tic than graf­fiti.

Does street art rep­re­sent an area or is an area rep­re­sented by its art? Is it sim­ply a mat­ter of it is what it is ... don’t think too deeply?

It at­tracts at­ten­tion and foot traf­fic to the most ob­scure places. And end­less selfie photo op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Street art is ev­ery­where when you open your eyes wide.

Such as the fenc­ing surroundin­g a va­cant block op­po­site the Sun­shine Coast Uni­ver­sity Hospital or the Din­gle Wall in Caloundra. Strength of out­line, bright pri­mary colours catch the eyes. Then, a closer look re­veals peo­ple and things – patterned, like a naugh­ties Pi­casso.

As well as bring­ing colour to the lo­cal com­mu­nity street art can af­fect tourism. It might be hard to quan­tify, yet there is a rea­son for cafes and cof­fee to flour­ish near the pop­u­lar sites. Is the rea­son these peo­ple are in this oth­er­wise laneways the art?

Yes. An art place. And how much did they spend to be there? And buy in nearby shops? Street art is usu­ally un­sanc­tioned and com­posed to make a public state­ment about the so­ci­ety that the artist lives within. The work has moved from the be­gin­nings of graf­fiti and van­dal­ism to new modes where artists work to bring mes­sages, or sim­ple beauty, to an au­di­ence.

It’s a way to raise aware­ness of so­cial and po­lit­i­cal is­sues while oth­ers sim­ply see ur­ban space as an un­tapped for­mat for per­sonal art­work. Oth­ers may ap­pre­ci­ate the chal­lenges and risks that are as­so­ci­ated with in­stalling il­licit art­work in public places.

So think about the big­ger pic­ture dur­ing the course of your day or your stay on the Sun­shine Coast.

There is so much to like about it.

STREET COLOUR: The new mu­ral op­posit the Sun­shine Coast Uni­ver­sity Hospital, Birtinya by lo­cal artist Steven Bor­donaro.

MA & PA Drawn To­gether, Caloundra, by Adam Lewczuk and Ryan Sul­li­van.

Derek at Ocean St, Ma­roochy­dore by Fuzeil­lear.

Hope­ful IV at Caloundra by Fuzeil­lear.

The Sky is the Limit at C-square, Nam­bour by artist Mandy Schone-salter.

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