Street art adds colour to Coffs

GROWING up in Sydney's inner city suburb of Newtown gave graffiti artist Ash Johnstone an early taste of the medium he says chose him.

“I was exposed to heaps of street art as a kid and started doing graffiti early, trying to learn some of the techniques of those who had gone before me,” Ash said.

“It's a very organic medium and can be a very positive form of free expression.”

This weekend Ash, together with seven other artists with tag names like Kerupt, Scram and Fsute, undertook to decorate the wall on the corner of Duke and Vernon streets.

“Saturday was fantastic,” Ash told The Advocate.

“Families came with their picnic blankets and their kids to watch.

“It's great to think we might be inspiring the next generation of artists.”

The artists themselves also had a good time, sharing ideas and working out ways to blend their different styles on the mural.

“I've worked with all the artists before but for some it's the first time they've met. It's nice seeing new friendships forming and watching collaborations evolve.”

The mural project is part of a new exhibition, Making a Name, which opened at Ash's Open Studio on Friday night and features the work of twenty two graffiti artists.

“The great thing about graffiti is it crosses social barriers.

“The idea of this exhibition is to expose people to the variety of graffiti art and also show the different avenues it can lead artists down.

“Graffiti artists are also illustrators, graphic and fashion designers, tattoo artists. We've got some oil paintings here plus ink drawings and carved works.” The exhibition runs from July 31, phone 0432 447 727.

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