*Begin crumbly old Canberra voice*
Back in my day, there wasn’t much for the young folk to do. So it was easy to remember bad public art or silly wayfinders. At the old underpass near the Hyatt (leading to the National Library), there was a strange Noah mural which was partially obscured by a rambling travelling story. Apart from that, your Mum would say not to hang out in underpasses but never really explained why.
Then in mid-2011, there was a magic burst of art treasure in this underground den. Majestic seers and creatures by Abyss, and heaps of other pieces all through the tunnel. I’m sorry to be unsure of the other people who made this in just one night, but maybe a good hunt through the screaming wall would garner results.
It’s sentimental, but I still remember the feeling of walking through, the wonder at all these new shiny creations. I loved thinking of all the public servants (including me) that were going to see it all (on the way to their offices), and be inspired for the rest of the day.
And then the crushing beige cover-ups afterwards. Reminds me of a legend of an art gallery director who would add a layer of brown paint in order to “antique” paintings, also called “gravying” (in rather poor taste).
Even though these are from a long time ago, I hope that with the new Street Art Coordinator, there will be support for reinvigorating Canberra’s urban spaces. And so that questionable religious murals won’t stay up for more than 10 years and act as a navigational aid for hapless young Canberrans – rather, that they can work out where they are with engaging and beautiful changing art.