October 5, 2009

Moeller St, Mt Vic

The first one I did, before I got laser cutter qualified.

Oriental Parade

I thought I’d done a great job in finding a nice dirty wall beside the sea with this one, until I came back during the day to photograph it and realised 90% of the day it’s concealed by parked cars.

Oriental Terrace

The O Bay Abortion. That’s supposed to read ‘Almost 40% of the world’s population…’ Not quite the same impact without that number.


September 28, 2009

Am slowly getting faster, and better at concrete appraisal although made a bad choice on one of my walls this weekend.

I’ve been eying up a beautiful stretch of wall (oh, beautiful concrete!) outside an exclusive-looking Oriental Bay compound for a few weeks now, but had resisted asking for trouble until Saturday evening when I was feeling particularly cocky after some high praise from friends. Before I’d even got started an older man in a BMW had pulled up and inquired about my loitering with buckets and stencils. We had a bit of a discussion about what I was doing and the stencil I was putting up (“almost 40% of the world’s population live in coastal areas”), and he left, satisfied that I wasn’t spraying anything and that my message was appropriately thoughtful.

After merrily scrubbing away for a while, feeling smug about getting tacit approval from an unlikely source, I’d done about half of the phrase when another car stopped. A couple in their 60s got out, and neither were pleased to see me. The wife was particularly vocal with her disapproval of me defacing their wall; she wasn’t having a bar of my ‘cleaning’ reasoning, I was writing, yes writing, on the concrete and she was going to call the secretary! No, she was going to call the police! And she still couldn’t believe that someone would have the gall to deface their concrete wall!

Nothing would calm her indignation, so unhappily I had to abort my half-finished phrase and leave before she made things really awkward. I was gutted, as had wanted particularly good job to impress the first guy after he had been so reasonable. Instead I just left something that made no sense. Oh well. It was some consolation though, that the husband did concede my point about about there being no effective outlet for public debate – to which he hastily added “but do it on a lamppost or something, and not around here!” after a dirty look from his wife.

Cnr Bidwill and Taranaki Streets

Another unhappy resident approached a friend and I as we were doing this and demanded know “will that come off??!” I didn’t really know how to respond to that.

The Basin Reserve

Pirie Street

Pirie Street

September 22, 2009

Pedestrian access to Vogel St

A shame about the readability. Turns out not all concretes were made equal.

Austin StEntrance to Mt Vic Tunnel

And apparently rush hour traffic in Wellington doesn’t give a hoot about someone out stencilling the city’s walls.

I didn’t get even ONE passing comment.

Kind of disappointing; I was ready and waiting with a rant about how little fun it is to walk 623m through that stinking tunnel every day, with no ventilation and stupid drivers thinking it’s fun to honk even though it near bursts your eardrums, and no room for cyclists to pass comfortably, and nothing interesting to look at – except for the occasional mouse or patch of vomit – and did I mention the inability to BREATH?!

Boy, I hated walking through that tunnel.

September 20, 2009

Palliser Rd, Mt Vic

Evans Bay Parade, Roseneath

I was so engrossed with battling the algae and lamenting my bleeding fingertips, which I’d stupidly earned by not wearing gloves that I failed to notice when a man came down and sat on the steps next to me. But not, as you would expect, to talk to me about what I was doing. No, he apparently just wanted to read his book and soak up some sunshine.
That was fine, but just a little strange I thought, considering the rest of the beach was deserted. Maybe that particular step was his special book-reading spot and I’d unwittingly hijacked it with my bucket and brushes….?

The campaign begins…

September 17, 2009

So this is the first of many to come… I hope…

Thanks to all those who have been faithfully adding to the list of reasons, I now have about 200 reasons to go on with which should keep me plenty busy. But don’t stop yet, there have to be another 150 reasons out there somewhere that need to be shared!

At my end I have been hard at work figuring out how I can do some street art that reinforces my environmental message without breaching the law. The discovery of Paul Curtis’ reverse graffiti gave me that answer, but it turns out selectively cleaning concrete is more difficult than you would anticipate. However, I think I have cracked it, and these are some of the first results.

Hawker St, Mt Vic

(Mokopuna: grandchildren.) Thanks Koro.

Roxburgh St, Mt Vic

This one earnt me an “OI STOP THAT! YOU CAN’T DEFACE PUBLIC PROPERTY!” from civic-minded motorist who reversed up to yell at me. Not good for the nerves. However he eventually left somewhat placated and a little confused when I proved to him I was weilding a toothbrush rather than a spray can. Other than that people left have pretty much ignored me. Except one lady who was totally unimpressed by what I was doing, and insisted that that particular wall needed a nice mural or a “trompe-l’oeil” instead. I didn’t know what a ‘trompe-l’oeil’ was then, but now I do. And yes, that would be pretty cool but I’m not so sure that the road safety authorities would be so welcoming of the idea.

August 18, 2009

A 'clean' wall in San Francisco

A wall in San Francisco 'cleaned' by Mr Curtis

I thought this was pretty amazing. Water! Dirt! Car emissions! And depicting the flora that would have been there before the city was built. Oh, so clever! This kind of advertising I can respect.

There’s a youtube video of it that’s worth watching if you’re interested http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lX-2sP0JFw. Oh to have a team of men in yellow PVC with waterblasters…

An aptly executed comment on the inside of a Sao Paulo tunnel

An aptly executed comment on the inside of a Sao Paulo tunnel

Apparently the police in Sao Paulo were not very impressed with Mr Alexandre Orion’s work, although they struggled to find any grounds to prosecute him on. In the end they ‘cleaned up’ his work, and then had to clean the rest of the tunnels in the city to stop him from doing his work elsewhere. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLbiBHnJSqw

yo Wellington!

August 11, 2009

thanks to Weta and some anonymous artists

thanks to Weta and some anonymous artists

Ironic huh

August 10, 2009

Incidentally I see that tomorrow’s headline about our ‘ambitious’ emissions target is going to be sitting side by side with ‘One million evacuated as typhoon hits China’…

Ah… so the news is that NZ will target a 10-20% reduction on greenhouse gas emissions (from 1990 levels) by 2020. “This target is internationally credible and both environmentally and economically responsible” says Nick Smith, which is something I have trouble agreeing with. Actually, that makes me pretty mad.

I guess this means that now, more than ever it is really important for NZ citizens to get vocal about where we stand on this issue. Is such a mediocre and – pointless? – target truly what NZ wants…? Are we satisfied to sit round and make excuses for being a special case with emissions, since our economy is so strongly reliant on agriculture – and placate ourselves with the idea that other countries will ‘understand our difficulties’?? What happened to the pioneering spirit, to our desire to stand up for what is right? We were the first to grant women the vote, we are still nuclear-free and proud of it – yet why are we lagging on this issue when the environment is so important to our identity? For a country who relies so heavily on its reputation as an unspoilt paradise, it seems odd, and a little short sighted.

I like the comment someone made about 42 Below’s Geoff Ross – who knows a thing or two about marketing and sees NZ’s emissions target as an opportunity rather than a cost. “Let’s never be meek as a country and wait to be whipped in line. Let’s lead something. Something we must stand for. If we don’t stand for a very special, unique and pure place – what do we stand for?”


I feel marginally better for having had a rant. Next time I will post up some images to prove that I really am a designer.

Hello good people

August 6, 2009

This is the place where you get to share your reasons for wanting action to be taken over climate change. The idea is that the diversity of reasons for wanting this as great as the diversity of people that climate change will affect – which ultimately, is everyone…

But this is not just another outlet for like minded people to share their views. I want to take these reasons and make them public by turning them into 350 different pieces of street art. I’m currently in my final year of a graphic design degree at Massey University in Wellington, New Zealand and am completing an Honours project on climate change and personal expression in public space. Finally I have the opportunity to use my skills for a cause I really believe in – but I need your help to collect these reasons.

So go crazy! Give me all the reasons you can think of for why we want to start treating our planet with a little more respect. These reasons can range from the latest scary statistics you’ve heard, to the benefits we would reap from a change of attitude.