Melville: City and Grouch and Co team up to fight graffiti and anti-social behaviour with mural event

Grouch and Co
owner Renata Taylor.
Picture: Jon Hewson           d454139.
Grouch and Co owner Renata Taylor. Picture: Jon Hewson         d454139.

A SERIES of break-ins, graffiti attacks and anti-social behaviour over the past 12 months inspired Melville coffee store Grouch & Co to take matters into its own hands.

The final touches to a mural that runs alongside the Grouch & Co building took place at a fundraising event on May 14, with the message being for people to stop, reflect on their journey in life and take respectful actions in their surroundings.

A discussion between Grouch & Co owner Renata Taylor and City of Melville cultural development officer Julie Rosario about the future of the area many months ago sparked the new project.

With funding from the City, donations from Inspiration Paint, a design and labour from artist Chris Nixon, as well as support from the local community, the mural was born.

“Melville is grassroots, its creative community is self grown,” Grouch & Co creative associate Anna Mathews said.

“It doesn’t feel like a creative community, yet there are a lot of creatives based here.”

Artist Chris Nixon said he was keen to be involved in the project, being a Melville resident himself.

A fan of type pieces and lettering, the verse captured on the wall intended to cause contemplation and feed the entrepreneurial spirit in the area.

Nixon said he was familiar with the introduction of artwork by a number of councils to combat graffiti, with an unspoken street code towards artistic expression usually preventing creations from being vandalised.

He believed this was due to a combination of respect for an artist’s work and it being visually pleasing to the area.

Grouch & Co collaborations manager Kitty March said the main purpose of the work was to emphasise community growth, as Melville had the potential to house the future of creative businesses.

“We want to bring in positivity,” Ms March said.

The sausage sizzle that ran alongside the mural’s final moments of creation raised a couple of hundred dollars towards the overall cost of the project, with Grouch & Co employees also planning to use their tips and a donation jar to fund the project.

Ms Mathews said the day was a great success, with the generosity of the community greatly appreciated.

“It was amazing to watch it all unfold,” she said.