ARTS

Mount Barker to welcome Walldogs

Street art was once seen as graffiti, perpetrators could be heavily fined, and authorities spent many hours and dollars trying to remove it.

In more recent times wall art or murals have popped up all over the world, with the so-called ‘Walldogs’ gaining international reputations and winning coveted awards for their vibrant and creative street murals.

Mural by Wall Dogs in Keene, New Hampshire. PHOTO: www.walldogsinkeene.com/2019/05/31/the-ashuelot-river

Often poignant, sometimes political, this version of street art has been taking the world by storm, with the most notable artist being Banksy.

His work graces walls all over the world, with his unique murals highly prized by locals, art lovers and tourists alike.

Street art has seen a transformation of sorts, with more art-based principles and less tagging (name signing).

Mural by Wall Dogs in Danville, Illinois. PHOTO: www.visitdanvillearea.com/attractions/murals/chuckles

Perth has its street artists, one of the most lauded bring Stormie Mills, who, since 1984 has created mural art throughout WA.

Albany and Denmark too have their own street art scenes but Mount Barker has not benefited from the trend – until now.

The Mountains and Murals festival in December will feature a series of wall artworks across the district, with local youngsters working alongside police and international artists.

Leading the project is Mt Barker police sergeant David Johnson, himself a member of Walldogs, and avid supporter and participant in the movement for positive street art.

David travels annually to the USA, where he and other Walldogs decorate towns with murals depicting local history.

He promoted the idea to the Shire of Plantagenet and is now the driving force behind the upcoming Mountains and Murals festival, which will run from December 6-10.

Events and activities are updated regularly on the Mountains and Murals Mount Barker Facebook page.

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