24 February 2022

Beer mural near Indigenous art removed as 'inappropriate'

| Evelyn Karatzas
Join the conversation
RIP Toxic Masculinity mural

Bohie’s ‘RIP Toxic Masculinity’ mural in Rabaul Lane, off Akuna street in the city, prior to it being taken down. An Indigenous artwork is to be created nearby. Photo: Supplied.

Street art depicting a crushed beer can, which will be near an Indigenous artwork, has been removed from a Canberra urban arts festival after being deemed inappropriate.

The beer can mural, which features the words ‘RIP Toxic Masculinity’ by artist Bohie, is part of the ACT Surface Festival.

Bohie told Region Media concerns were raised by the Rabaul Lane building’s body corporate about the appropriateness of her artwork, particularly given an Indigenous work was to be placed nearby.

“I totally understand that there are a lot of voices to consider when working in a public space, and the last thing I wanted to do was take away from the Indigenous artist’s work next to me,” she said. “The placement of the mural wasn’t thought through.

“It’s disappointing because it took a lot of courage for me to paint it to begin with and express the message regarding toxic masculinity.”

READ ALSO The Woden drains or the Southern Hemisphere’s longest street art wall?

Bohie was given an option to repaint the mural somewhere else or paint another artwork in its place, prior to the festival taking off in March.

“It was suggested that I paint further back in the alleyway where I have more freedom,” she said. “I’m not sure if I will.”

Since she posted her mural on her Instagram account, Bohie has been encouraged by positive feedback about her artwork, including comments like “excellent art, with an excellent message” and “Canberra needs more art like this”.

READ ALSO Netballer courts business success with her Indigenous art

Bohie described the mural as a depiction of feminist activism.

She posted on her Instagram prior to her mural’s removal: “It was definitely a really cathartic piece too, after having a fair few yucky, disrespectful and downright ridiculous rude experiences recently that really sparked this design idea”.

Both artworks are part of the ACT Surface Festival, an event designed to display Canberra’s graffiti art across the city.

More than 30 local and interstate artists will showcase their work across Braddon, Civic and National Triangle from 4 to 6 March.

The festival will feature street art, graffiti, portraits, stencils, Indigenous art and geometric and abstract urban artworks by local and interstate artists, to celebrate the diversity in the ACT art scene.

Region Media has approached festival organisers for comment.

For more information on or tickets to ACT Surface Festival workshops, visit the website.

Join the conversation

All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments

Why a feminist work of art can’t be next to an Indigenous work of art I have no idea.
Did someone think Indigenous culture is exempt from “toxic masculinity”?
Or did they think feminists are racists?
Or did they think Indigenous art is nice and feminist art is nasty?
Or did they think Indigenous people don’t know what beer can do to people?
Grow up!

Capital Retro10:51 am 27 Feb 22

Move it next to the rainbow roundabout.

Juxtaposition in art is the placing of contrasting elements side by side, prompting viewers to establish connections and meaning. The powerful art of this mural is precisely in the juxtaposition of the images, that so obviously confront and disturb the notions and sensitivities of the woke class. It was deemed inappropriate because it implies toxic masculinity, domestic violence, child abuse and alcoholism within aboringinal communities. These are real problems that should not be ignored. But here we have the arts community engaging in censorship to avoid confronting its own insecurities. Artsy wokey people are quite content to give offence to the mainstream, but not to themselves.

SmirkingNick8:13 am 25 Feb 22

It’s all about whose socio-political cause has more power. In Wokeworld, more victimhood means more power.

Masculinity has been uncancelled due to the impending world war 3.
Aren’t feminists bored of the pedestrian use of frangipani to promote their gender, especially in street art?

Shame on her for using Toxic Masculinity. It is a dreadful sexist term popular within certain groups.

Bad behaviour is bad behaviour regardless of the gender of the perpetrators.

This is too funny, lucky we have a well defined system of “offence” hierarchy to understand how these decisions get made.

If you ride a bike, or walk on the footpath along the Edwin Land Parkway, there is a house with a fence that is entirely rendered with indigenous art. This is just before the roundabout at Numerella Dr/Stringybark Dr. You cannot see it from Edwin Land Parkway. It is magnificent

Bohie should do a new graffiti “RIP Cancel Culture”.

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.