Group Collaboration – Hidden City

As a group of four without of knowing each other, surprisingly we had similar interests, which was Cardiff city architecture and street art. To start off the project and gather the ideas we have done a brainstorm.
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After a joint decision that we are going to look into street art we went for a walk around Cardiff to take some pictures of graffiti. We found really brilliant art work on Northcote street walls that we found inspiring.
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I find graffiti intriguing, I like the fact that “graffiti and street art movement gave voice to the community of people that no longer felt represented by their political class”
http://3things.org.au/blog/story/21071

There are some very educational documentaries about graffiti and street art. To understand graffiti and its ‘politics’ I looked up for street art films based on true stories. By far the most important documentary about graffiti would be ‘STYLE WARS’ which was made in 1984. The film captures the street art movement and inspires the young artist around the world.

The film features priceless footage of the legends of graffiti artist
*Dondi
*Seen
*Iz the Whiz

In a group discussion we admired the street art and notices one very important fact. Graffiti isn’t permanent as much as everyone thinks. There is always somebody who is going around and tagging someone else’s work or possibly out of jealousy painting over on some skilled street art piece. The picture we took that attracted out attention to the subject was taken in Northcote Street where street art is most popular.
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On that subject I found a relatively important documentry on how some people in America who do not support graffiti and think its vandalising the city so they go out at night and paint over the graffiti and street art with silver paint or sray paint.
I found that rather interesting as in my opinion they are doing more damage than the graffiti artist themselves.

Se we start thinking what are possible ways to make graffiti permanent or to last longer without being ruined.
Along with our research we found this artist called Space Invader which we found inspirational. He is a French urban street artist and he does mosaic art and sticks them on the wall for people to see. SpacevInvader who’s identity is still kept hidden called himself after 1978 game space invaders. He does mosaics of packman that use to be the characters in the game. I like the way his art work is completely different from any other street art but still keeps the same principle as graffiti.
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To look up for more of his work here’s the link.
http://www.space-invaders.com/mosaic.html
Detailed info on the artist; http://www.stencilrevolution.com/profiles/space-invader/

As a group we decided mosaics would be the perfect solution in keeping the art on the walls more permanent. Mosaic tiles are had to ruin, are weather resistant and if someone decides to spray paint it, it is possible to clean it off and it would be just as good as new.
Keeping that thought in mind we thought of turning graffiti art into a mosaic, so it would ha a chance it staying in its place for longer without getting damage by jealousy or other artist tags. Also it brought our curiosity in how people would react to it. Would anyone still count that as vandalism? or would it count more as art because its an old fashioned technique? also would anyone try to ruin it or take it off?

To bring our idea forward we decided to do an experiment and build a mosaic of one part of graffiti that we have found in Cardiff and stick our mosaic on top of chosen graffiti part. As a group of four we most liked the graffiti art of a turtle in Northcote street. It is colorful cartoony and little bit mad. the chosen part we decided to be one square of the turtles shell.
shell turtle (1)
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First we measured the dimensions of the square we wanted to do. Then draw it out on the paper and cut it out so I could use my ‘maker’ skills and cut it out, out of piece of wood board.
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After that all we had to do is to draw the picture on the piece of wood that has been cut out and start building the mosaic. We picked 2 in 1 water resistant 3D wood adhesive for external and internal use called ‘Bond it’ and white grout to use later on to finish off the mosaic.
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As a group we all went shopping for the tiles to match the graffiti colors, as we wanted to blend in with in the picture on wall. Luckily a tile shop on Newport Rd as very generous and gave us some tiles for free so we didn’t have to spend a fortune on it. Of course we did have to purchase couple colors but between four of us it was practically penny’s.
Once we were back at the studio where all the magic happened, got to say we had fun in smashing the tiles up.
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Once the mosaic was complete which did not take very long to do as it was three of us doing we had to wait for 24h for the glue to dry completely before putting the grout on top. Once the grout is placed on top and in the gaps we had to wait another 24h to grout to get firm before cleaning the top.
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Once the piece is done we are going to stick the mosaic on top of the square of graffiti picture and record the changes of the piece. To see weather anyone going to take it off or possibly try to ruin it.

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