Kade Valja, 16 paints his street art on a wall provided by council at the Grafton Regional Gallery Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner
Kade Valja, 16 paints his street art on a wall provided by council at the Grafton Regional Gallery Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner Adam Hourigan

Picking a dud tag from a masterpiece is an art

GRAFFITI, for some people is just vandalism, but for 17-year-old Westlawn resident Kade Valja it is definitely art.

Kade, who attends South Grafton High School, has been advocating for legal graffiti walls to be set up around his home town.

But the idea hit a speed bump when a trial wall the council set up became, itself, the target of vandalism.

Instead of becoming a canvas for art, it was overrun with tags.

As a result council staff suggested a more guided approach may prove a better way to help Grafton's budding young street artists develop.

Kade explained the difference between tags and graffiti art.

"Firstly you can tell a good tag from a bad one," he said.

"In a good tag there are a lot different elements that have to go together and the placing of the letters and things like that.

"But the difference between a tag and an actual piece should be obvious because a piece should look 3D and have fades and highlights.

"When you see a piece you can tell if people know what they're doing too."

In early 2012, a number of South Grafton High School students met with Mayor Richie Williamson and Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis to discuss the establishment of a street art space for local young people.

Several potential locations were discussed, but none were finalised.

The council will decide how to proceed with graffiti walls at a meeting on October 15.

Kade said the idea would reduce graffiti-based vandalism in Grafton and said similar projects were successful in Coffs Harbour and Woolloongabba.



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