Embracing Street Art

165 Elizabeth Street, Hobart

The City of Hobart and City of Launceston have both been exploring street art as a way to add vibrancy to the urban environment and to deter graffiti, particularly in lane ways.

In Hobart, this involved partnering with the Vibrance Festival in March to allow Tasmanian artists to create four new works on walls within the city. Two pieces were painted on the wall of businesses entered in the Tasmanian Heritage Register. The Tasmanian Heritage Council provided certificates of exemptions for the art pieces, noting that the painted pieces were confined to those areas of the walls which had been previously painted; that the art itself would be maintained and were semi-permanent in nature.

162 Liverpool Street, Hobart

Launceston’s City Heart Project has a much broader focus, however street art has been used to enliven previously under utilised spaces whilst works in other common meeting points are completed. In 2017, a temporary installation in Dicky White’s Lane, also approved by the Heritage Council, provided an area for visitors to the Quadrant Mall to relax while major works were being completed in the mall itself.

 Dicky White's Lane

As with all art, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And while pieces may initially be considered as transient, or may not stand the test of time due to public opinion, others achieve a status that suggests the need for retention.

This has been the case at the Trinity Hill social housing complex in North Hobart. In its transformation from a school to affordable housing accommodation for young people, graffiti from the 1980s was retained both for its artistic accomplishment and as a piece of history which fits seamlessly into the next chapter of the site’s story.

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