In the last few months some Banksy-esque graffiti has appeared at locations around Newport. I wrote about it here but more have appeared since then. Every other city has its Banksy imitators, so why not Newport? Does it mean that Newport is becoming middle class? Or is it just vandalism? And why can’t the graffitist do feet? Whatever the answers, I’ve gathered the pics together for your viewing pleasure. And there’s an item from the South Wales Argus also reproduced below dealing with Newport council’s response.
I first spotted this image which appeared on a pillar beneath the Heidenheim Drive flyover on the entrance into Newport. I drive past it most days.
After a while the slogan was added, just in case there was any suggestion that the famous graffiti artist had crossed the Severn Bridge. And, about the same time, I noticed a new image, the lego/asbo man.
After uploading the first picture to facebook, I was told about this one. Nearby in the bricked up doorway of a bricked-up house.
Mrs M snapped this one in the subway near the castle. It looks worse for wear.
And finally, within the last week I spotted this one. Also on a pillar beneath the Heidenheim Drive flyover.
Councillor’s appeal to Newport graffiti artists
Monday 24th May 201
GRAFFITI artists in Newport are being invited to find out how they can use their talents without breaking the law.
Environment and community cabinet member for Newport council Cllr William Routley is asking graffiti artists to join him for a “no blame” meeting to talk about their craft.
The councillor said he has to take the view that graffiti of any kind is “unacceptable”, but would “welcome dialogue in order to understand what artists needs are”.
The councillor, who represents the Stow Hill ward, spoke of his respect for some of the artists’ talents, but urged them to use their abilities “in co-operation, in a way that contributes to city life”.
In a public appeal for those responsible to come forward, Mr Routley said: “It’s no good us telling people it’s wrong if that’s only going to antagonise them. I’d welcome the dialogue in order to understand what their needs are.”
Speaking of the most recent “Banksy” style graffiti which has sprung up around Newport city centre showing a stylised soldier figure, Cllr Routley said: “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so to have some things thrust upon us without any choice is not acceptable.
“Public art is commissioned in consultation with residents and the relevant authorities.”
Local gallery owner, Janet Martin says she was refused council support for a graffiti workshop earlier this year at her premises in New Ruperra Street.
She wanted an outside wall of Barnabas Arts House to be used in a “controlled piece of graffiti”.
“Pictures of backsides and swear words is vandalism” said the mum of two, “but if Newport wants to get art out into the community then there is a gap in the artistic market. Some of the walls around the place are a mess.
“If we could graffiti in an aesthetically pleasing manner I think it would put us up there with London, Berlin and Bristol. Graffiti seems to be synonymous with vandalism, and that doesn’t have to be the case.”
Artists can contact Cllr Routley via the council website.