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Beauty behind the spray can

17 May 2017 | Posted in: News


street art 1

Simone Sheridan saw the beauty behind the spray can and began a project commissioning street artists to cover walls with murals as part of the TiNA festival in 2010. Rather than being painted over after the event, the murals were so popular with property owners they not only asked for it to stay on their walls, but commissioned more work and Newcastle began to catch the attention of national street art bloggers.

Being passionate about place making, Simone wanted to give the murals a heartbeat by sharing the story behind the works and the artists. Her cultural brokering business, Street Art Walking, began from a desk at Renew HQ in Morgan Street and aligned closely with Renew’s goals of creating reasons for people to visit underustilised spaces.

During 2011-2014 street art started to explode on walls all over the city and some even tossed around the title of ‘street art capital’ for Newcastle. Street art became part of the fabric of the city’s new creative culture.

Simone has long moved on from her Renew space but public interest in the murals continues. Her walking and cycling tours visit murals around Newcastle. Her knowledge is prolific and her passion for the artwork is infectious. A typical tour discovers giant murals you’ve probably never noticed before and reveals the story behind your favourites. Tours can be booked on request through her website.

Making sure the story continues to grow is one of the challenges. Simone says “construction and development has seen a lot of the murals be demolished or painted over”.

“I’m excited to see the city growing but would like to see this part of our culture continue with murals commissioned as public art and to be seen as important in the contemporary art scene.”

Simone is liaising with Council to establish street art as part of their strategic planning and graffiti management plans. Until this happens, get yourself on a tour before they disappear!