Images of Canberra – Civic Skate Park

By 18 January 2007 102

Miranda’s tour of the skate parks continues. This time with the urban desolation of Civic.

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102 Responses to
Images of Canberra – Civic Skate Park
Jey 9:13 am
18 Jan 07

I wish they’d get some professional graffiti artists to make it less concrete jungle.
If they did that in the first place you wouldn’t have the ugly stuff that’s up there now.

andy 9:39 am
18 Jan 07

yea.. it looks like big city.. which canberra isn’t

Tonka 9:55 am
18 Jan 07

There have been a group of Graf artists negotiating with the Canberra Centre to paint this wall foa the last six months.

The centre keeps stuffing them around.

The artists concerned have given a lot of time and made a lot of effort for little gain.

First it was advertised as a competition, then it was more like a standard commission, now they’re not even returning calls.

It was actually supposed to be painted on the 12th December, but the centre won’t even do the artists of returning phone calls.

They are keen to paint it still, but the Centre needs to get it’s shit together and quickly.

johnboy 9:58 am
18 Jan 07

We can vouch that the Canberra Centre are almost impossible to have sort of dialogue with.

Tonka 10:16 am
18 Jan 07

All the centre has been asked for is some money for paint and some freedom to get in and do the job.

The group is keen to paint the best wall the city has ever seen, but these guys have no clue whatsoever.

That wall will only get worse over time with people tagging etc…

It’s what they deserve really.

bonfire 10:25 am
18 Jan 07

because their is a real difference between tagging and art.

its like throwing a can of paint as opposed to dropping it.

Mr_Shab 10:35 am
18 Jan 07

Bonfire – I’ll take the Civic wall murals over a grubby beige wall covered in tags any day. Also – taggers tend to respect art. They will leave a wall mural alone, whereas a blank concrete/painted wall is like a flashing neon billboard saying “spray here”. I know for a fact that the business owners in the buildings that have had murals painted on them are very keen on them.

You don’t get to be the sole arbiter of public taste. I for one would be happy to see the new centre’s brutalism softened a bit – and I’d say I’m not alone.

Tonka 10:36 am
18 Jan 07

Well there have been recognised artists who have both thrown and dropped paint on canvas.

Just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean it’s not art.

bonfire 10:42 am
18 Jan 07

generally recogniosed artists who throw and drop paint on canvasa dont get arrested, unlike the miscreants who deface our city.

i note that some ‘artist’ has already started ‘work’ on this skate park.

Tonka 10:54 am
18 Jan 07

You’re assuming that the guys who want to paint the skatepark wall are the same kids defacing the city.

Quite wrong, and without being too aggressive about it, quite ignorant.

I don’t know the kids that defaced the skatepark, but you’re better directing your ignorance at them than the guys who are trying to be part of the solution, not the problem.

Also, if these guys had been allowed to do their work, that stuff wouldn’t be there.

For the record, just so you can know how wrong you really are about these guys, the same group has been working directly with the government over the last year to reduce the amount of vandalism in the city and also to keep kids out of the criminal justice system.

You’re entitled to your opinion of course, but in this case, you’ve just got it way wrong.

Maybe you should step off your soapbox for a little while and check things out properly before bagging on them.

These guys like tagging less than you do because it ultimately means that they have to confront this type of ignorance on an almost constant basis. They also pay taxes. They also have to deal with angry cops harrassing them over stuff other people have done while trying to have a quiet paint and a laugh with their mates on the weekend.

I’ve seen it happen.

mutley 11:02 am
18 Jan 07

I quite like the angles and starkness in this photo. I think it would be better in portrait orientation though to crop out the wheelie bin.

(Of course, I’d rather the starkness wasn’t in Canberra)

Blamemonkey 11:05 am
18 Jan 07

Rules of Riotact
1. JB is always right
2. You don’t need any knowlegde about a subject to post just an opinion
3. In the case that JB is wrong refer to rule 1.

Tonka 11:12 am
18 Jan 07

No offence intended to anyone whatsoever. Apologies to Bonfire if it was taken that way.

I did acknowledge that he’s entitled to his opinion and I truly believe that.

I just got upset because that opinion labelled my friends as criminals. I was merely defending them because they’re not here to do it themselves.

I just hate seeing my friends tarred with the same old brush for the 10,000th time.

Believe me, they really do hate that stuff more than the average Joe.

Erg0 11:13 am
18 Jan 07

This discussion feels strangely familiar…

Ari 11:39 am
18 Jan 07

“tarred with the same old brush”

I thought they used spray paint?

bonfire 11:55 am
18 Jan 07

‘Also, if these guys had been allowed to do their work, that stuff wouldn’t be there.’

sounds like standover tactics to me.

were a small group of artists, if you pay us to paint your walls, well we will make sure no one graffitis them…

hmmm lets look at this another way:

i like your cafe bonfire, it would be a shame if any harm should come to it. if you pay me and my group of friends some money we will make sure no harm comes to it…

Danman 12:19 pm
18 Jan 07

There have been a group of Graf artists negotiating with the Canberra Centre to paint this wall foa the last six months.

The centre keeps stuffing them around.

The artists concerned have given a lot of time and made a lot of effort for little gain.

First it was advertised as a competition, then it was more like a standard commission, now they’re not even returning calls.

It was actually supposed to be painted on the 12th December, but the centre won’t even do the artists of returning phone calls.

They are keen to paint it still, but the Centre needs to get it’s shit together and quickly.

Tonka – I believe you are a good friend of my brother – who goes by the name fate.

The reason that wall is black is because it was rolled in preperation for a huge production – just that CC can not get its shot together and therefore it got tagged and throw ups put on it.

Not true art.

Mr_Shab 12:30 pm
18 Jan 07

I don’t think it’s quite so sinister, bonfire. Given that the Canberra graffiti community is pretty small, I’d say that the artists would recognise the tag of someone who vandalised their work. Also – hard as you may find it to believe – taggers may respect the artwork of their grown-up brethren and leave it unvandalised.
I would say it’s more of a case of, “We like your café, bonfire. It’s centrally located and we like the coffee. By the way – while we’re here, you won’t get any grief from angry customers.” “Get out of my café. I don’t like your sort.” “Fine, we’ll go to the café up the street. Good luck with the angry customers.”

Tonka 12:34 pm
18 Jan 07

Bonfire, accusing my friends of standover tactics is defamatory.

You’re entitled to your opinion, but don’t dare accuse my friends of criminal behaviour, and by that I mean accusing them of painting illegally or standing people over.

The canberra centre approached them in the first instance… (they wanted a mural and my friends hadn’t even considered that wall before then), and then the centre did nothing.

During mthis time, my friends worked hard to produce something that might actually change the community’s perception of the art here in Canberra.

But, nothing is done by the centre, and surprise suprise a big blank wall in the middle of the city with lots of passing traffic gets painted illegally by other people. Frankly I’m surprised that those are the only ones there.

My friends had nothing to do with that illegal painting and at no time did they either communicate with the people painting that wallm illegally or stand over the canberra centre in the manner you suggest.

What you’re saying is ridiculous and borders on the insulting, especially in light of the fact that my friends own businesses, property and are contributing members of the community.

As I’ve said, they’ve worked long and hard to be part of the solution, but bonfire, you seem to be happy to stand on your soap box and ignore this fact while defaming them.

Feel smug and self satisfied and express your opinion by all means, but please don’t defame my friends in the process of doing so, especially when they’re not here to defend themselves.

That’s just taking cheap shots.

If that’s what RA is about, then fine… that’s all good. I just had a higher opinion of RA than that.

You can’t expect people to take the site seriously as a place of debate when it merely boils down to a place where people take cheap shots and defame others in a baseless manner to make a point.

If that’s what RA is about, you’re welcome to it.

johnboy 12:38 pm
18 Jan 07

Tonka, as he hasn’t identified any individuals it is hardly defamatory.

I think we all need to be a bit more careful to be clear when we are speaking in general or specifically.

On another note I always suspected the reasons murals get less tags has more to do with it being impossible to see the tag over the mural rather than “respect”, which some taggers may have, but I strongly doubt they all do.

simto 12:44 pm
18 Jan 07

I think the proper version of Bonfire’s scenerio is: Bonfire offers his cafe wall to a bunch of people to paint. After agreeing to do so, and priming the wall ready for them to paint, he then ums and aahs about the last stage, and refuses to get in contact with anybody to explain what he’s up to. Somebody randomly shows up, looks at the nicely primed wall, and scrawls stuff all over it.

Yes, the guy who showed up and scrawled is a bad guy. But that doesn’t stop the Canberra Centre from also being dipshits during this saga.

Tonka 12:52 pm
18 Jan 07

Thanks Johnboy,

Am well familiar with the law and if I wasn’t confident about the nature of the comments I would have kept my mouth shut.

It doesn’t change the fact that bonfire is just taking cheap shots at people who can’t defend themselves.

It is respect that keeps tags off the murals by the way. Murals/paintings done by people without the respect of the wider graf community don’t tend to last long at all.

Thumper 12:57 pm
18 Jan 07

Chill Tonka,

everyone gets a bagging on RA at some stage, whether justified or not.

bonfire’s views are different than yours. What’s the problem? It would be seriously boring if everyone agreed on everything.

And on RA, no-one ever seems to agree on anything, oh, with the exception that Stanhope is pathetic. (And even that is not in total agreeance)

Personally, I hate graffiti, sanctioned or otherwise. Yes, i can see the artistic merit in it but I always wonder why people who use spray cans don’t go and buy great big pieces of plywood and spray them. Who knows, you could even make money from a sale if you could get someone to sponsor a viewing/ opening (ACT government cultural grants anyone?)


Tonka 1:14 pm
18 Jan 07

Hi Thumper,

Don’t get me wrong… Bonfire is perfectly entitled to express an opinion, and it’s totally cool that he/anyone doesn’t like graf.. that’s cool. Whatever.

However, when he starts suggesting that my friends are standing people over, committing crimes, or being party to other people committing crimes, that’s a different matter. It becomes personal then and isn’t merely just a disagreement.

My friends are not criminals and I resent anyone suggesting otherwise. I think I’m entitled to be upset at the suggestion. They would be if they read it.

Government grants?

You have to be f**king kidding? Even though these guys work with the government to reduce illegal graf, the government does not fund graf artists to do anything other than run workshops to teach kids.

One of the guys has been painting for 25 years and has received one grant to paint boards when the hyperdome was opened. That’s it. He said that was like pulling teeth and he had to essentially paint a promo for the HD to get a penny.

That’s not arts funding.

It’s not for lack of asking either, he’s tried and tried.

Arts peak bodies laugh when you ask them for money to do graf related projects.

These guys have all done plyboard, canvass, t-shirts etc, and one is brave enough to try and make a living from it.

Think what you like about graf.. the guys already have a fair idea of how people feel… but don’t call them criminals.

Maelinar 1:24 pm
18 Jan 07

For somebody (or in defence of some other person) who makes their trade spraying walls, you’re a little bit fragile Tonka.

Not that I’m alleging that its a particularly tough trade, its just my perception of you at the moment.

Woo Hoo somebody didn’t get back on a quote. In Canberra – and lets think about the grandeur of this statement, the public service purchasing guidelines recommend at least 3 quotes. That means out of every successful purchase in Canberra, 2 people don’t get contacted back.

Everybody else in Canberra seems to get along reasonably comfortably with the knowledge that they’ve missed a golden opportunity at some stage of their lives.

Apart from you and your tagger mate.

johnboy 1:28 pm
18 Jan 07

I dunno Mael, our own experiences of trying to do anything with the Canberra Centre management were universally poor.

If you need more quotes tell the quoter that’s what you’re doing FFS.

Tonka 1:35 pm
18 Jan 07

Nah Maelinar… not fragile.

Just standing up for a mates who aren’t around to defend themselves. That’s not fragility, that’s loyalty.

The arts question was raised, so I answered. No biggie that there’s no funding, just saying how it is. The guys don’t lose sleep over it.

Normally I wouldn’t bat an eyelid at the comments, but this is a forum that is often viewed and quoted by the media.

I don’t want to see comments in tomorrow’s papers that say things like ‘Grafitti writers standing over Canberra businesses’ or crap like that.

I’ve seen rubbish printed about them for less than what’s been said today.

With that in mind it had to be refuted and quickly. The guys get enough bad press as is.

I’m fine with missed opportunities. I haven’t asked my mates about it, but I’m sure they’re fine too.

bonfire 1:36 pm
18 Jan 07

i could take a long relaxing dump onto a piece of masonite, spray it gold and enter it in the archibald prize as ‘stanhope’ – still doesnt make it art or me an artist.

graffiti is not art and thats why people scorn you.

they see graffiti infesting their city placed there by people who do not give a shit. they break the law. they are vandals.

why on earth should the govt fund this ? they may as well fund courses in driving away from the cops and hitting old people in cars at intersections in woden.

if some of your friends have grown out of this childish moronic behaviour and are trying to make an honest living by selling their artwork in acceptable mediums – good on them.

if they cannot make a living then perhaps there is a message – that the public does not like their art and perhaps they need to pursue another avenue of employment.

i dont understand why you need to ape another cultures form of expression. i know there arent any subway cars trundling around the act. do you talk with an american accent ?

if you feel the need to express yourself artistically do it in an acceptable and legal fashion. dont destroy public and private property.

Al 1:46 pm
18 Jan 07

Thumper, in one of those other lifetimes I sometimes talk about, we set up 3 big panels at a large skatebowl, with competitions to paint them. Then after a couple of months on display, we auction them off.
I also subsidised grafitti artists to paint bits of urban infrastructure bus shelters dunny walls etc – all looked great and pulled up the “less acceptable” grafitti cold. The people who lived there loved it all – even the oldies.
Now tagging – that I can’t stand.

Tonka 1:47 pm
18 Jan 07

There we go again…

My basic point all along has been that these guys are doing it in a legal fashion – a point bonfire seems to keep missing.

As for acceptability… who cares what you think about art or graffiti or whatever. Should they also check with you about the acdeptability of their clothes, hair etc?

You’ve got a high opinion of yourself buddy.

Stick to running a cafe mate and good luck to you.

You’re a self inflated fool who really has no idea.

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