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.”
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”.
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.