Art. Two mainland artists will next week join locals in the creative task of turning walls into something worth looking at.
The visit forms part of Circular Head Council’s Art About Town initiative, which will see a focus on art and culture during the month of September
Giles Fryer, of Street Art Murals Australia (SAMA), will be in Smithton from Tuesday to Friday accompanied by fellow aerosol artist Janne Birkner, who holds an honours degree in fine arts.
Established in New South Wales in 2008, SAMA is a not-for-proﬁt group that works to reduce the negative impacts of grafﬁti, and support young artists by fostering social inclusion and advocating for street art’s legitimacy.
Fryer, who holds a combined political science and law degree, began his artistic venture 10 years ago.
Over that time he has seen a shift in perceptions, whereby people are “starting to realise the value” of street art, in that it “builds on the urban aesthetics” of a place.
“For us, we want to create legal spaces and provide legitimate opportunities for young artists to contribute in society through aerosol art.”
Fryer said the NSW government spends $100 million each year on cleaning up vandalism.
He said the money could be better spent on initiatives to promote aerosol art, as was the case in the Blue Mountains where SAMA created Australia’s largest public street art space, now a major tourist attraction for the region.
Circular Head Council youth and community services officer Jodie Saville said she contacted Fryer and asked if he could paint a large-scale contemporary mural which has references to the local area.
Fryer said he hopes to create a space within that brief “for the public to consume and enjoy”.
“Using a concept design that people can continue to take meaning from, not a one-time satisfaction for viewers,” he said.
“I really hope that people can engage with us while we work, to see how the process is achieved and also to meet us – I’d love to meet local people.”
Locations of other walls in Smithton set to be the focus of local artists’ attentions include Smith and Emmett streets, as well as the Smithton Scout Hall.
To read more about Fryer or to view his work, visit www.silverlinesart.com or www.instagram.com/silverlinesart.