7th September 2013 Modile Graffiti

Yesterday I completed interviews 3,4&5 down at my new second home, the Hall of Fame. One of the questions I ask is where the artist has travelled from to paint there. This is because it was quickly established, by the number of crew tags there and by conversations with artists, that people had travelled some distances to paint there. Today’s crew were from all over the north of the country, but regularly met in Liverpool. They then as a crew and individually travelled to suitable walls all over the country. 

 Campo Amor in Spain 2012

Another question that developed was how far did they travel to paint?  for this the answers were varied, some purely within the UK and some in places like Amsterdam, Ibiza and in other holiday locations. It appeared that being in a new location, even whilst on holiday, the temptation to paint was still there. The artists that had stayed in the UK had taken trips for no other reason other than to paint, where as those who had painted in Europe were there for another purpose but found time to paint. 

Many of those I have spoken to express a desire to paint outside of the UK. This is understandable, There is a massive international graffiti community.

Periphery, Paris, France 2013
I tend to take pictures of graffiti everywhere I go, so in the same was the graffiti artists may leave a tag as they travel to holiday destinations, I snap graffiti while I travel. Last year it was Spain, this Year it was driving through France. The observations that I have made so far is that European countries are far more tolerant of graffiti than in England. Particularly in Paris, there was very old graffiti mixed with new. Even those that challenged the political order were not removed. Within the UK graffiti removal is big business. Over the past 15 years i have lived in Geneva, travelled to France, Spain, Belgium, and Greece. All of which had a very obvious graffiti culture that was not concealed. The UK has a problem with graffiti, the problem is that denying its existence is stifling a culture that is very much a part of the UK’s rich cultural heritage.

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