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Graffiti fence debate

Melbourne is internationally known as the capital of street art and even though some of its dwellers love it, others believe it is not pleasant to the sight. That is the case for some of the neighbours of Heather Tervit, a resident in Karingal who decided to commission her residential fence to young artists to paint a mural.

The graffiti on Ms Tervit fence created a debate among the local residents. Some of them said that it is “ugly”, fearing that it will lower the value of the area, which could have a negative impact on the prices of their properties. Another neighbour said that it cannot be considered as art.

Ms Tervit is a volunteer at the Frankston charity Life-Gate, where she assists disadvantaged youngsters, so she decided to entrust her “horrid” fence to three young artists to paint the graffiti mural. According to Ms Tervit, the results brighten up her fence and represent something different and unusual, so she is very happy with it.

In spite of the negative comments, Ms Trevit defended the artwork saying that everyone looks at art in a different way and that she had received also positive comments, actually, while the artists were working on it some people also approached them to give positive remarks.

The debate grew so much that even the council had its part in it. Mayor Brian Cunial explained that some officers were sent to inspect the fence and they determined that as it is located on private property there is no need for a permit, they also confirmed that it is in fact artwork rather than just graffiti.

Regardless of what her neighbours say and with the council on her side, Ms Trevit plans to keep the mural permanently as it is part of her property. The recommendation for Ms Trevit would be to apply an anti graffiti coating to the fence in order to avoid tags or any other attempt to damage or cover the artwork, given that this protective layer is invisible and versatile, the mural will not be damaged or altered in any form and it would remain intact.

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