Graffiti artists show their true colours

JAMIE HOWELLS-COSSON
Last updated 05:00 02/10/2012
From left, Jesse Geary, Nick Tam and Danny Owen in front of the mural they have created at the YMCA.
JOHN HAWKINS/Fairfax NZ
BIG PICTURE: From left, Jesse Geary, Nick Tam and Danny Owen in front of the mural they have created at the YMCA.

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A wall in the Invercargill YMCA is now adorned with the bright colours and swirling patterns of a graffiti mural consisting of 150 cans of spray paint.

The mural was done by local graffiti artist Danny "Deow" Owen, students from his art course, Jacob Stait and Lincoln Tupetoa, and Christchurch artists Jesse Geary and Nick Tam.

The artists used several techniques to create the mural, including filling water balloons with paint and throwing them at the wall.

Owen described Tam as "one of New Zealand's most prolific graffiti artists".

The 20x12-metre mural took 150 cans of spray paint, 12 litres of base coat and more than 200 test pots to complete, Owen said.

The two-day project was captured by time-lapse photography.

Owen said the crew was "keen to paint all day every day".

A second mural, at the Riverton soundshell, was planned, Owen said.

Owen said there was a lot of demand for graffiti-style art and he often did mural and screen printing work.

Tam said young graffiti artists had a lot to learn.

"The difference between tagging and being a graffiti artist is like the difference between learning to walk and being a professional athlete."

Gym member Will Pinkney said the mural made the area more lively.

"It needed something in there."

Health and fitness supervisor Craig Dougherty said the painters had put in a lot of time and effort and come up with a good concept.

Owen and Geary will compete in the Kings of Style graffiti contest in Auckland next month.

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