Melville: City teams up with Grouch and Co to combat graffiti and anti-social behaviour with mural


General manager of Grouch & Co Coffee Renata Taylor. Picture: Matt Jelonek d451892bMF1
General manager of Grouch & Co Coffee Renata Taylor. Picture: Matt Jelonek d451892bMF1

A SERIES of break-ins, graffiti and anti-social behaviour over the last 12 months inspired Melville business Grouch & Co to take matters into their own hands, or more appropriately, their own walls.

Tomorrow the final touches to a mural that runs alongside the Grouch & Co building will take place at a fundraising community event, 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 turned into the realisation of the new project.

This project sought to combine the Melville creative hub in a stand for a sense of community in the area.

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 was 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 destruction, at least for a while.

He believed this was due to a combination of respect for an artist’s work and it being visually pleasing to the area, not a blank canvas.

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.

A sausage sizzle and a creative celebration will introduce the finished wall to the community this Saturday from 9am to 12pm at Unit 1-45 McCoy Street, Myaree.