Slavin Architects worked with the City of Fremantle to commission street art to deter graffiti

Artist Anya Brock with Slavin Architects’ Bill Coe in front of Brock’s as yet unfinished mural.
Artist Anya Brock with Slavin Architects’ Bill Coe in front of Brock’s as yet unfinished mural.

GRAFFITI could be classed as a crude form of street art, but a North Fremantle business believes the best way to target unwanted tags on their property is to commission a piece of public street art.

Slavin Architects’ Bill Coe said the business had been targeted by graffiti in recent weeks, but taking down the tags only resulted in them popping back up a few days later.

With a large, blank wall facing Tydeman Road originally earmarked for a green wall, Mr Coe says the high-visibility area was always going to attract graffiti.

Slavin and the City of Fremantle decided to use the wall for a public art project as a means of deterring graffiti tags, enlisting the help of well-known local artist Anya Brock, who has already created a large zebra mural on the Ootong and Lincoln in South Fremantle.

‘In total, the wall facing the train line has been hit eight times and after the third attack in two months we realised we needed to take a different approach to countering the vandalism and began discussion with the City about commissioning a mural,’ Mr Coe said.

‘Now that the wall is no longer a blank canvas we hope the offending graffiti ‘artists’ are respectful of the time, money and effort put towards procuring such an appealing piece of public art, which seems to be the case with other murals in the area.’

City of Fremantle Community Development director Marisa Spaziani said their experience showed tagging was reduced if quality artwork was placed on large walls.

Mr Coe said Slavin employees believed the idea should extend to other public areas, such as the concrete surfaces of the rail bridge over Tydeman Road.

‘The bridge acts as a gateway to the City from one side and the entrance to the Port from the other,’ he said.

‘The scale and mass of the pylons provides opportunity for something quite iconic and we would love to see the mural expanded over Tydeman Road to cover the bridge and its pylons.

‘Thousands of people travel over the bridge every day to and from Fremantle and thousands more travel under it to and from the Port and exciting public art would make the area a landmark part of that journey.’