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Graffiti Latest: Facebook Support Group Has 500 Friends


7:47am 3rd February 2014
(Updated 5:47pm 3rd February 2014)

A public art project by young people in Dorchester is under fire after one image has upset locals.

But in response, 'Keep The Artwork Under The Bridge', a facebook account set up this afternoon, has attracted 500 friends in its first two hours.

Regulated graffiti has been allowed under Damer's Road railway bridge as part of the council-run 'Good Graffiti' project, but a painting of a gun has caused problems.

The project was organised by West Dorset District Council.

Wessex FM spoke to Dorchester Town Councilor Tess James, who received some of the complaints, "People phoned and emailed me to say they were concerned with the actual nature of the gun, nobody had a problem with any other part of the art work, they just found the gun offensive. It is on a school route, the gun's rather larger-than-life and it's quite a violent image, and it's not an image that's comfortable with Dorchester. I think there are concerns about weapons and how they can be perceived."

Tess admitted that they were worried about stifling the young people's creativity, "It's an open project, and that's the problem with it going live - as such, but for the town it's not an image we want. I think the fact we were able to have an open discussion with the designer and the people on the Youth Council means we were able to talk about other ideas, and they do have some other great options."

Artist Peter Sheridan who's in charge of designing the artwork explained his thought process behind the gun behind it, "It's the Great Western Railway, so I've based the whole thing on the Great western. I questioned it, but then I thought 'No, it's a strong enough image not to offend anyone."

Peter continued to add that there were bound to be some complaints about anything painted in such a public place, "If it happened in Bristol no one would even think twice about it. If I came along and decorated the wall, and I just painted it a nice shade of pink, there would always be someone who would say 'I don't like that shade of pink I find it offensive, it hurts my eyes.' People have an opinion on everything".

Peter said he wouldn't mind painting over it and turning it into a banana or a fistful of train tickets, but there's a meeting on the 11th of February to decide whether it'll be painted over or remain how it is.

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