United Kingdom


Southampton,United Kingdom

The Southampton Common Paddling Pool Kiosk is a prominent building visible from a major route into the city centre. The building had become a regular target for graffiti vandalism causing it to be a focus for bad publicity and an unpleasant sight for users of the common and passing traffic. In response, in 2002 the collective Beyond Graffiti was asked by Southampton City Council to run a project involving local young people to transform the building using spray cans. That is, a partnership between social and cultural workers and public administration was created for this project.

The aim was to prevent future risk of vandalism and to showcase the positive side of graffiti art. These two factors are the main defining in the third cluster. This intervention is centrally a prevention intervention with a constructive approach. Furthermore, the intervention aims at promoting both street art and mural art.

The youngsters selected to participate on the project were primarily those responsible for the graffiti already written on the kiosk’s walls. By involving these young people it was known that they had an interest in graffiti and a potential talent. Also, it was hoped they would be more likely to respect the building and look after the artwork they produced.

A community gathering was made as well as community surveys in order to decide the graffiti design. Two local schools were invited as well as users of the common and the Beyond Graffiti collective. It had to convey something that the general public would relate to and be relevant to its surroundings, without compromising the style of graffiti art. Based on the feedback the design was developed. The intervention’s scope of prevention is based on social collaboration and participation. This kind of collaboration tend to engage upon arts-led regeneration interventions and informing citizens.

For the project artistic graffiti (street art and / or mural art) can make the audience develop an understanding of what graffiti can communicate by painting colours, places and shapes that can appeal, instead of graffiti making feel insecure.
The writers produced the finished artwork entirely with spray cans with the assistance of Beyond Graffiti artists. Also, to reduce the risk of further damage the building was treated with anti-graffiti coating.
The evaluation of the project reflects that in the 18 month following the completion of the project, the kiosk has fallen victim of minor tags only although because of the anti-graffiti coating these were easy to remove and at a minimum cost. The project has attracted positive public and media attention. Furthermore, new projects related to graffiti have been replicated.

In these two last cases we can see the difference between the second and third cluster. First of all both cases are based on the same type of intervention (pro-social measures aiming at prevention and with a constructive approach) and similar actions (artistic interventions to prevent graffiti). However, the third cluster case includes graffiti writers on their activities which the second do not. Furthermore, the second case promotes street art and the eradication of tag while the third promotes both street art and mural art. These are the maindifferences between clusters and can be exemplified by these two cases.



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