The fun police
"Graffiti Alley" between the Left Bank and Ghuznee St may have just been edged out in the Wellingtonista Best Public Art awards, but it's still the most dynamic and democratic site of all. There were some particularly interesting goings-on a couple of weekends ago, and when I walked past early one the evening the masked artists were hard at work; later that evening they were still there, but being sternly spoken to by the boys in blue. I'm not sure whether anyone was arrested, or whether the police attention was due to anything other than the graffiti action, but the end results were certainly more than your average tagger's scrawl.
Streetwise Wellingtonians will have been aware of tags and stickers by "F is 4 Fun" for a while now, but this goes well beyond that and probably counts as an art installation. About half of the alley was taken up by posters, hanging signs, collages and even complex multi-media assemblages incorporating ironing boards and sneakers (which soon disappeared, perhaps to become a collector's item?). Other photographers have already been onto it, including Robyn Gallagher and bronzebrew, and this appears to be an anniversary celebration by a long-established street artist.
There are signs that the installation might have been even more ambitious if they hadn't been caught in the act. There was a rough outline of some abstract organic designs around the sneakers, and that may have been intended to be filled in by aerosols. While the artists seem to enjoy taunting the police, if this is anything to go by, perhaps this is a case for police discretion? After all, it's hard to say that this work detracts from the attractiveness or amenity of what would otherwise be an anonymous and malodorous alley.