14 February 2006

stencil graffiti capital

Stencil Graffiti Capital: The Exhibition

A photographic exhibition documenting street art in it's true urban context. The photos highlight the works of some of the most influential and active Melbourne street artists including: Meek, Phibs, Sixten, Meggs, Psalm, Dlux, Rone, Sync and more.

The event will also be the official launch of
"Stencil Graffti Capital: Melbourne",
the first book to explore the city's thought provoking, visually rich and constantly evolving stencil graffti scene.

Exhibition Opening
6 - 9pm Wednesday 15th of February
Citylights and Until Never Gallery
2nd Floor. 3 - 5 Hosier Lane (Enter from Rutledge Lane) Melbourne 3000
Exhibition runs from 16th - 25th of February
Open Wednesday to Saturday 12 – 6pm

Exhibition Opening
6 - 9pm Friday 3rd of March
China Heights
3rd Floor, 16-28 Foster St Surry Hills 2010
Exhibition runs from 4th - 5th of March
Open Saturday & Sunday 12 - 5pm


AUTHORITIES are furious over a photographic exhibition celebrating illegal street graffiti, which opens in a Melbourne art gallery this week.

Police have been urged to infiltrate the exhibition's opening night to try to identify illegal graffiti and catch offenders admiring associates' work. The exhibition is also the launch of the book Stencil Graffiti Capital: Melbourne. Glossy invitations to media depict photos of people in alleys at night spraying graffiti on walls. Sympathisers often defend stencilling as the artistic end of the graffiti spectrum, but critics argue if it is done illegally it is unacceptable.

Police Minister Tim Holding led the attack.

"Graffiti's not art. It's vandalism and it's something we all deplore," Mr Holding said.

Residents Against Graffiti Everywhere called on police to go to the exhibition to identify illegal graffiti and offenders."It is simply another avenue for illegal activity to be packaged as acceptable," RAGE founder Steve Beardon said. Opposition Leader Robert Doyle said all unauthorised graffiti was vandalism and illegal. "While this subculture is congratulating itself on the proliferation of illegal stencilling, I know the enjoyment is not shared by owners of property they vandalise," Mr Doyle said.

The book's co-author and exhibition convener, Jake Smallman, defended both. He said while most of the graffiti featured in the book and exhibition was done illegally, he was doing nothing illegal
by photographing it. "I'm just documenting what's already out there," he said. Mr Smallman said he believed it was important to document stencil graffiti on city walls because it was so transient.

His works will appear at the Until Never Gallery and the Citylights light boxes in Hosier Lane from February 16 to 25. His book has already sold about 1000 copies since its release late last year -- including about 15 to music industry stalwart Michael Gudinski.

"While I don't condone graffiti I think Stencil Graffiti Capital has captured for posterity a very unique art form," Mr Gudinski said.

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