Street art. The question is not if we like it or not. We love it. Rather can Donny peeps be trusted with the concept of legal walls? We could get into the pros and cons but instead let’s consider Doncaster’s latest street art project at Waterdale (opposite the old South Bus Station on College Road). Proof that street art can transform a neglected area. Proof that graffiti artists are respecting not vandalising it. Proof that residents are praising it. And most important, proof that when you give people the freedom to paint what they want, they will paint with passion, rather than showcase their repertoire of naughty words. Let’s take a look…
Let’s face it. There are too many parts of Donny town centre that look scruffy, deprived and in desperate need of colour. Something that Council employee Sophie Anderson did something about. Fed up of her daily walk to work from the Waterdale car park being a grim one, she took the initiative to ask Doncaster locals and artists if they could brighten it up with street art.
Having budget to cover paint costs was an opportunity to open the participation to local kids, amateurs and semi-pros giving them a chance to try street art for the first time or to do something positive to help improve their hometown. Driven to create Donny’s own version of an East Side Gallery with all sorts of different styles next to each other, artists were invited to paint whatever they wanted a similar concept to the idea of a legal wall. So as long as it didn’t offend they had no restraints on the content of their art.
People want a way to show they are proud of Donny
What was lovely to hear when I met Sophie and some of the artists to talk through this project was how much the they appreciated the opportunity of having a legal space to share their work and to do something positive to improve their hometown.
Art can be so many things. It may not always be to our taste but the talent it takes to create something, and the bravery it requires to share that talent – that deserves respect. 100%. To all who were involved thank you very much for inspiring us but more so for giving Donny something to smile about.
If you’ve been inspired by this work and would like to give it a go. There’s opportunity for a couple more artists to have a legal space as part of this project. Interested? Just email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks to all the artists.
Dave Parkes. Julie Bowden. Craig ‘FiveFive’ Hoyle. Liam Glover. Sarah & Elizabeth Stanley. Breaking Beats kids – Hannah, Gemma, Charli, Charlie and Louis, Ian Byatt & Arron Jack. Rachel Horne. Jo McQuade & Sophie Anderson.