Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood said Council had been working with the street art community to find a new space for artists to showcase their work after a “Free Wall” in Topham Mall was closed earlier this month due to health and safety issues affecting nearby businesses.
“Adelaide City Council is serious about street art and is learning all the time. Public art not only enlivens our city streets, it fuels creative thinking and promotes new ideas”.
“It was important for Council to find a long-term solution to the closure of Topham Mall,” Stephen said.
“We have been working with the community to identify more locations for street art around the city, including partnerships with Carclew Youth Arts and a number of property owners to maximise the success of future projects,” Stephen said.
The site of the new “Free Wall” – located under the southern abutment of the Morphett Street bridge – has been used in the past by commissioned artists under Council’s public art grants program.
Magazine Gallery curator Joshua Fanning said legitimising street art had always presented challenges but congratulated Adelaide City Council on what was a “bold move” to publically facilitate somewhere for artists to work.
“I think it shows Council has a lot of faith in young artists and it needs to be respected by young artists,” he said.
Fanning said the “Free Wall” was an opportunity for both established and emerging artists to collaborate; not just with street art but by integrating new mediums like audio soundscapes.
“Art is about newness, innovation and movement; and knowingly or not, I think the ‘Free Wall’ unleashes something with huge potential for the state,” he said.
Over the weekend, a little bit of that potential was unleased.