Artworks up for auction

FRIDAY night will see the fruits of a calligraphy and graffiti collaboration put up for auction, to raise funds for the Coffs Harbour Regional Conservatorium.

Graffiti artist Ashley Johnston of Open Studio teamed up with Colleen Little and fellow-calligrapher Robyn Lawrence to create an eight-panel artwork, titled ‘Uncommonground’.

Using eight canvases donated by the Book Warehouse, their creation is very much a fusion of the two art forms.

“When we decided we wanted to do the collaboration with the graffiti artists, we felt it needed to have a purpose,” said the Coffs Calligrapher’s president and artistic collaborator Mrs Little. It’s great to now have the Conservatorium, but a performance space is so important to have for students, so we thought the sale of the canvases could go to this.”

The canvases were part of a calligraphy exhibition at the Bunker Cartoon Gallery, ‘Calligraffiti’ and a graffiti exhibition at the Vernon Street Open Studio, ‘Graffigraphy’, which both conclude this week.

Graffiti artists were often maligned for the craft, particularly when it was emblazoned across buildings, but many in the art world consider it another writing style common to a cultural group.

Teaming up with the Coffs Calligraphers – several of whom are senior citizens – gave the graffiti artists ‘some respectability’, which was traded for some ‘street cred’ for the calligraphers.

‘Uncommonground’ will be auctioned on Friday by Kye Aylward from Aylward Auctioneers, who is donating his services.

Jazz duo, John Mostyn and Chris Frater from the Conservatorium, are also donating their services on the night, playing for guests.

“We would have loved to have seen it sold in its entirety, but as it’s a bit over seven metres, it needs a long wall,” Ms Little said.

Anyone who has admired the increasing trend to art as text adorning walls should come with their wallet to the art auction party at the Bunker Cartoon Gallery from 6pm on Friday.

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