Image: Graffiti mural located at Carlisle St x William St, Balaclava.
Recently it was brought to my attention by a constituent that a graffiti mural existed along the vibrant retail strip in Carlisle Street, Balaclava. This uncommissioned mural depicts a demon smoking ice methamphetamine and getting rich, raising concern for many locals and questions over the appropriateness of such a message.
Freedom of expression is an important value, however given Victoria is facing an ice-epidemic, we must do all we can to combat the glorification of a drug which ruins thousands of lives.
Mr Igor Vainer of Vainer Optical has demonstrated how we can achieve a balance of freedom of expression through art. Mr Vainer, whose glasses store was a repeat target of graffiti vandalism, commissioned students of Caulfield Park Community School to create a graffiti mural at the back of his store with the fitting theme of eyes. I believe Mr Vainer’s idea is a great model going forward and could be adopted by many local councils looking for ways to encourage creativity while preventing tagging and vandalism.