Illegal Wagga tagging prompts fresh appeal for a legal graffiti wall

The Prime7 building on Fitzmaurice Street.
The Prime7 building on Fitzmaurice Street.

Wagga youth have made an impassioned plea for a legal graffiti wall by illegally tagging a prominent building off Fitzmaurice Street. 

The controversial delivery has earned a big no from fellow youth but the message itself remains clear as calls for a legal space continue to build. 

The wall reads: “Please give Wagga a legal graffiti wall – from the bored creative youth of Wagga”. 

The message, splattered across the Prime7 building, was spotted by residents last week and has prompted a search for private spaces. 

Local budding artist Scott Vidler has been fighting for a legal graffiti wall for months but said the illegal message was the wrong way to go about it. 

“We do need one but it was definitely done in the wrong way,” Scott said. 

“A wall isn’t going to stop the tagging but it will reduce it a lot.” 

Despite his condemnation of the illegal tagging, Scott and his friends are determined to see some action and take their pleas to the appropriate body. 

“I have about 15 friends who are into it and we’ve been trying to work out some spots where we can have but there doesn’t seem to be any talk in the council at all,” he said. 

“There does need to be more for us to do.”

Wagga artist Luke Vineburg, who runs graffiti programs for youth, said if council would not come to the party it was time to appeal to the public. 

“Scott and his friends have lots of energy and are highly motivated – we should be nurturing those type of people,” he said. 

“I used to love drawing but the school art programs just don’t suit everyone.

“It’s time we take it on ourselves and find some spaces with a call out for people with private properties.”

While Mr Vineburg said the illegal message was not appropriate, it had successfully captured public attention. 

“The attitude at the moment seems to be that hopefully if we do nothing about it they’ll just get over it,” he said. 

“Graffiti culture has that outlaw type mentality but you need time and space to create the art, rather than under darkness at night and without permission.” 

While Scott has participated in a number of legal graffiti programs, most have been in Melbourne. 

“It would give everyone a chance to meet more people and be a bit more accepted,” he said. 

“We’ve got teachers at our school that can do graffiti but they can’t practice in Wagga. 

“This would give people a chance to take their time with murals.”

While multiple spots have been suggested during the course of the legal graffiti debate, Scott said the appropriate place would still be the levee bank wall. 

“It has been tagged with heaps of stuff – they could let us use that and paint over it every month,” he said. 

“If it spills over to any local business it could be a three strike and the wall is gone policy.” 

If the legal wall wasn’t an option, Scott said a weekly graffiti program would be “better than nothing”. 

Mr Vineburg said most community members were on board. 

“The kids see my work and have reached out for me to help,” he said. 

“I used to be that annoying kid who would go up to the older painters so I feel obliged to help them out.”

Scott’s mother, Lisa Vidler, said it was important to give youth an avenue to put their talent out there. 

“Everyone has their own gifts and not everyone is a scholar or is sporty,” she said. 

“They’re all looking for a way to express themselves and yes there other ways to do that but certainly it would help if they had a legal place to do that.” 

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