There was a time when you would be hard-pressed to find many people from the mainstream who would identify graffiti as art. It was a form of painting and drawing that would more likely be associated with vandalism, seen as nothing more than the defacement of public spaces.
More recently, graffiti has found greater acceptance as an art form, recognised for its range – from the beautiful to the mundane – and for the breadth of feeling and ideas it can express.
In her debut novel, ABC Radio National’s Suzanne Donisthorpe (writing as SD Thorpe) presents the story of a teenager who both finds and loses himself creating graffiti. Getting Up is set on the cusp of the toppling of the Berlin Wall; the end of an era but also a new dawn for street art in Australia.
SD Thorpe and I spoke about the beginning of the street art movement, the debate over graffiti as vandalism or art, and about a bunch of kids just trying to find their place in the world.
Getting Up is written by SD Thorpe and published by Momentum Books.
Interview broadcasted on ArtSound FM.
Interview date: 18 March 2013.
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