The Street Canvas Co. is a collective of visual artists interested in working with City Councils and local owners to create legal public spaces for street art projects, whether they be murals, sculptures or performances. We believe the modern city street is a canvas for the public imagination to be heard, and wish to create venues for it’s artisans and painters to express themselves through. We hope to achieve this by working with both local governments and private owners of walls, sidewalks, disused billboards and other potential canvasses and opening them up to art projects involving local community.
Public art reflects a vibrant cultural ecology where local citizens and tourists alike can appreciate a cities creative imagination simply by walking down the street of catching a train.
Empty canvasses are everywhere. Underneath highways, by the river, in back alleyways of the city, on busses and trams, on the pavement, on electric boxes and abandoned billboards. All of the city is a maze of flat planes and primed canvas. The question is how do we negotiate with the larger community - which we are apart of – to gain access to spaces legally?
Millions of dollars are spent on public art projects around the city every year, but very little of it is for painting murals, a time honored tradition older than the frescos of Michelangelo.
In terms of community development, the chance for young and emerging artists to make their mark on the public canvas of the street builds a relationship of belonging that is often absent in the modern urban culture.
The FREE SPACE Movement
The Street Canvas Co. sees the popularity of graffiti all over the world as proof that it fulfills an honest creative urge to creatively engage with the public space. The abundant medium of empty walls is only as old as modern urban architecture. Street artists, often young and disenfranchised from official avenues through which to have their art seen, are obeying an instinctive creative urge to mark their habitat, to somehow humanise the architecture they find themselves living within by lending colour, shape or form. The Street Canvas Co. projects intend to creative a vital link between these different bodies to facilitate a more harmonious relationship between the creative instinct and society at large.
Rather than a simple anti-graffiti approach, we would like to engage the public space with a post-graffiti movement. Having grown up with graffiti art all around us, we have come to recognise it as a cultural phenomena which has raised the issue of public art and the desire to use more public wallspace as venues for artists in the community to show art.
At it’s core, the Street Canvas Project philosophy is to approach these projects as a cooperative partnership between artist and community. Our intention is to facilitate a creative relationship in which both parties gain by reducing wall space in which graffiti will appear and to assist in the beautification and cultural enrichment of the public space.
Regular updates on new projects, and ways to get involved at street.undergrowth.org
for more information contact the Undergrowth Art Director at art(a)undergrowth.org