Reformed tagger turns to wool

'Yarn bomber' comes forward

Last updated 17:50 26/05/2012
Geof Lusins with some of the yarn bombing he did on the old courts fencing in Paru Paru Rd.
WOVEN FENCE: Geof Lusins with some of the yarn bombing he did on the old courts fencing in Paru Paru Rd.

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A reformed Nelson tagger has ditched spray cans, armed himself with a bag of wool and started "yarn bombing" the city.

Nelson Mail photographer Marion van Dijk photographed Geof Lusins' woollen geometric installations on a fence in Paru Paru Rd in Nelson and he got in touch after a story appeared online.

Mr Lusins owned up to being the "mystery artist" and admitted to it not being the first time his efforts had appeared in the paper.

The 28-year-old was labelled an "idiot with a spray can" in August last year after causing thousands of dollars of damage to public and private properties during a graffiti blitz in Tahunanui last year.

The tagging was widespread along Tahunanui Dr between the Annesbrook roundabout and the intersection with Muritai St, with walls, shops and bus stops covered in orange and white paint.

Lusins said he was down and out and on a drunken rampage at the time and regretted his "reckless" and "terrible" vandalism. "I was in a very bad state of mind at the time and it got me in a lot of trouble," he said.

Lusins turned himself in to the police and was ordered to do 100 hours of community service and pay $6000 in reparation.

He said "yarn bombing" was a less antisocial form of expression. "I know I can't get in too much trouble for this. I try not to do it anywhere that someone specifically owns. I wouldn't do someone's front fence – unless they asked me to," he said.

"There is a small graffiti problem in Nelson. I know a lot of young graffiti kids and when I got in trouble they all thought I was a legend. It would be better if they saw this sort of stuff."

Lusins has also "bombed" a fence at the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology, where he studies writing for creative industries, as well as one near Nelson College for Girls.

His work is slightly reminiscent of the graffiti knitting that took Nelson by storm during the Rugby World Cup, to some people's delight and others' disdain.

"I just enjoy doing it. It gives me something to do. Nelson claims to be very arty, but it has minimal street art. It's missing something. I grew up in Melbourne, where street art is a way of life. It's huge there," he said.

Lusins said the site near the tennis court in Paru Paru Rd was a "wasted" part of town.

"I'm going to keep coming back here and plugging away. I love how it looks 3-D. It pops out a bit."

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- The Nelson Mail

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