“Graffitti is it a a form of expression or a public annaricy nuisance”…In a growing city like Galway we have more graffitti on our wall, park and often on windows... Who are the artists and do we need like most other modern citys in the world, a place for this form of modern art to be expressed? May be a wall that can be cleared white for the new gaffitti to be formed .
In the north on both sides of the equasion being unionest and republican graffitti was the used as a the means to communicate from the under world. The communitys could talk and express the under lining feelings of their people on the ground, often the news came from this is defently true when the largers problems of the 70’s came to light and also in to play upto pease process in the the 90’s. Still people look to the graffitti of the falls roads, around the marching season to see how the communitys are feeling... so not all graffitti is with out mearitt or meaning.
A few years ago we had boards at city hall that were used for graffitti and it was great to let this form of art to be expressed. After the exercise their board were moved and as I know there is no public space in galway that is used for this purpose.There is some space around the playground (Beside Yeats collae??) that has well designed for public murals, this is wonderfull and the city could use more of the same.
There is another form of graffitti called ”tagging”. This is when a person used a name or a nick name or trag and they mostly spray it on walls, bins, lamposts. It is a bit like a dog pissing againts a fence, to make his mark. This is all over the city, intack some of the taggers use a liquid acid on windows, this can take 20 minutes to come up on the glass. In the past year a lone tagger did untold dammage to shop windows in the center of Galway city, all this glass had to be replaced as this acid can not be removed . This as one can imagin is detrimental to business and is a large public nusance in our city. We also have the tagger that puts his tag on ever surface imagable, just look around the wall and post boxes all over the city.
When it comes to law and order , do we sit back and tolerate theres “Dogs” pisssing or should we have stronger laws for this... Often the ofender acting alone and is under 16 do what is the law to do. It is a case that they will grow out of it or mature in to young artist or is it a case that the law should have other deterance to reform these public offerders. These are questions that we will beforce to get our politions to answer, or we will be called the “city of the tag” befour long.
What have citys like London , Barcelona, New york done with this? Well graffitti is part and parcel of moderen living. In new york it is zero tolerance other than on areas that are designated.That is what it sounds like, prison, if you don’t obey the law. London and barcelona have the same problem that we have, they do have designate graffitti areas for this and it deffently helps.
Galway is growing with more houses and developments every week the city is growing in every direction. Is it a question that are all amenitys being put in place to help there new communitys group to their utmost potential. It is a case of looking to the planners of our city to think in the future… like where will Galway be in 5 years time or 10 years. Have we given enough time to think of social consequence of not enough amenities for these community! Be it a graffitti wall or a sports centers ( that is equiped and staffed).
We call on our youth to express themselves in life, to find themselves, to be themselves. Where in Galway do we give them the forum for this in graffitti? Oscar wild once said “Youth is the King”. May be our ever growing cosmopolitian multicultural city needs a G wall! For starters.