Artist’s idea to reduce the scourge of graffiti

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The image artist Alex Vellis is using to promote his campaign

A Canterbury artist has launched a campaign to give taggers a place they can use and thus reduce the scourge of graffiti.

Alex Vellis believes a public art wall run by the community would reap numerous benefits, cutting anti-social behaviour and creating beauty in previously unattractive places.

The 35-year-old, who lives in Wincheap, has started an online petition in an effort to realise his goal.

He said: “The idea behind the Canterbury Public Art Wall is that by giving people, young people in particular, an area that they can take ownership of will help quell the plight of tagging that has recently increased in Canterbury.

“By giving people a space to create in, and ultimately to be proud of, we could reduce the antisocial behaviour of the city and help beautify disused and ugly areas.

Word artist Alex Vellis

“One of the major benefits of this idea is that the space will then be maintained by the community that uses it, coming at no extra cost to the tax payer.”

Alex, who describes himself as a word artist, says the public art wall would also allow youngsters to make statements about social and political issues.

He envisages it being overseen by a “task force of artists” which would ensure that fresh ideas would regularly appear on the wall.

“We are really excited at the possibilities that this project could help secure in the future,” Alex said. “It would mean more public art spaces, more artists, more murals, and more community led and community driven projects.

“Art has always been on the periphery of revolution, but we aren’t looking to change the world, we just want to turn some things around.”

Alex is planning to present his petition to Canterbury City Council and is urging local businesses to support it. Click here to sign the petition.

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