History of the Wall

How it started

The Bondi Beach Graffiti Wall started life as a place where young Bondi kids – caught up in the graffiti craze that was sweeping the globe in the late 70s and early 80s – were experimenting with spray art.

2012 - Water Atome Teazer
2012 – Water Atome Teazer

As the wall wasn’t a legal wall, this resulted in the typical cat-and-mouse game between local police and the kids – until in the late 80s the proposal was put forward by local youth group leaders to turn the wall into a community wall and to work with WAYS to channel the work of budding young artists.

Established graffiti artists learned to control a spray can – and they taught budding street artists how to do it – in this way, artists like Droogie taught (then) young artists like Teazer the basic skills.

It is reported that the annual graffiti removal was costing Waverley Council $400,000 a year before the legalisation of the wall – and only $60,000 a year afterwards.

A move to Murals

About a decade ago, the council stepped in and started allocating spaces based on applications. They attempted to award places to artists based on merit – but also based on community involvement.

The advent of Instagram has spurred a shift from traditional detailed graffiti to brush-painted murals with words or phrases that fans love posing in front of.  This, along with an increasing number of stencil pieces, has marked a shift away from pure graffiti to a broader range of styles – although this move has not been popular with traditional graffiti artists.

2017 - AnnnaCat - The Small Things 3
2017 – AnnnaCat – The Small Things 3
2015 BONDISMILE - Luke Petty Charlotte Lander
2015 BONDISMILE – by Luke Petty and Charlotte Lander
2015 - Hi From Bondi - Steen Jones
2015 – Hi From Bondi – Steen Jones

Wish You Were Here

Twice a year – organisation

At the end of 2016, the council (as a result of being inundated with applications and the continual effort of reviewing) changed their policy of how to ‘curate’ the wall.  Now applications are open until two dates – six months apart – for painting in the January-onwards and July-onwards periods.

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