i Assistant Editor's Letter: Is it graffiti or art?


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The Independent Online


Even the smallest changes to your daily routine can bring a smile to your face. Most days I do battle with my children on the way to school, gently persuading them to get a move on and stop dawdling. The other day they turned the tables to shout at me.

Tucked away on the corner of a wall I noticed a small red rose, painted, Banksy style, to “grow” out of a crack in the pavement. I thought nothing of it, but when I spotted several more along the road I felt compelled to take a closer look. It didn’t take long for my daughter to berate me for slowing her down. (“I’ll be late for school,” she scolded – why did it never bother me when I was that age?!)

The roses were a simple stencilled design in red or blue, and always on a whitewashed wall. They were discretely positioned so as not to intrude on your roving eye. But, I wondered, is it graffiti or art? At what point is the line crossed? It’s certainly not the kind of stuff that I used to see scrawled on derelict houses and garage doors as I trudged my way to school, but I also doubt the artist got permission. Or is it simply that my local council can’t afford to employ gardners any more, so have resorted to painting flowers around the area?

Either way, they made me smile, even if they did leave me more than a little puzzled. So if you’ve seen them around your area, or know if they mean anything, please put me out of my misery. After a Banksy piece sold for £750,000 at a private auction a couple of weeks ago, I’m thinking of heading off on the school run tomorrow with my chisel just in case it’s worth a fortune…

Twitter.com: @jonesrhodri