From vandalism to artistic expression.
Residents tired of local area being graffitied + local councillors out of ideas re tackling the constant graffiti cleanup around the municipality.
Timeline / Budget
10yr / $500k
• Transform dull spaces into colourful masterpieces — helping you rediscover neighbourhoods through art.
• Put a fresh spin on the traditional art competition, with murals instead of paintings or drawings.
• Encourage community engagement and creative expression.
• Reveal a fresh or forgotten layer of knowledge about each site.
My Role: Art Project Coordinator
Wall To Wall was an idea I created, pitched and coordinated for Leichhardt Council. A mural competition that harnessed the power of art to change our day-to-day environment.
Wall To Wall ran for 10 years and changed the cultural landscape of my local municipality. So much so that a Wall To Wall Mural Tour was part of the Australian National Trust’s 2016 Heritage Festival.
I was the Art Project Coordinator for Wall To Wall's inaugural year, and I couldn't believe my eyes as new murals appeared for another 9 years. To see something you champion and shepherd have such a long life is a gift.
My Pitch: Make Lemonade
For my first pitch to Leichhardt Council, I found global research establishing walls with murals on them were less likely to be vandalised. Even if they were known hotspots for graffitti.
Painting a mural — real artwork, not corporate beautification — significantly deters vandalism. So much so, Buenos Aires' local councils stepped aside. There's a hands off approach citywide. Meaning artists and building owners can make their own arrangements about murals — no permission required from your local council. All of which meant I had a pitch for Leichhardt Council's money to be better spent.
I convinced Leichhardt Council to divert money spent from graffiti cleanup to a mural competition. Using the most graffitied sites around local neighbourhoods as artists' canvases. Council covered all artists' materials. The total cost to do that was about the same Council was paying for materials + labour to paint over the same vandalised walls being turned into canvases.
Results: Cut Costs, Enrich Culture
As it turned out, Wall To Wall meant Council gained large scale public murals every year for less than they were paying to clean those same walls throughout the year. Not to mention, with all materials covered, local artists got great exposure without being out of pocket first. All while opening dialogues with local artists and their networks. Bolstering ingenuity and collaboration across the Inner West.