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When is Graffiti Okay?

moruya bridge graffiti

From: Murals & Illustrations /

Recent Graffiti on Moruya Bridge

As a street artist who is paid to cover up graffiti or to help prevent it with my own street art I thought the following story was interesting in regards to public graffiti.

I was driving through town on the way back from picking the kids up from a party when I crossed the Moruya bridge and saw some new graffiti sprayed on the bridge.

“SAVE OUR CLIMATE” was the message of the graffiti.

moruya graffiti
Moruya bridge graffiti – SAVE OUR CLIMATE

I asked my 10yr old what he thought about graffiti if it was wrong or right.

His reply was that it was wrong to paint on the bridge but the message was good.

That made me ask myself when is graffiti okay then?

As a comparison on the same day when driving around Moruya Heads, I drove past this other form of public graffiti which made me think more about what is graffiti and when is it okay.

Is the below Santa graffiti in the act of it any different to the bridge graffiti?

Roadside tree stumps decorated as a family of santa's, elves and reindeers
Roadside tree stumps decorated as a family of Santa’s, elves and reindeers at Moruya Heads

Have your say below:

If you feel like making comment below or just replying to the poll below, please do. It will be interesting to see what replies are made.

If you feel like expanding on your reply to the poll you can do that below or if you just wish to make a comment.

Back to: Murals & Illustrations

12 thoughts on “When is Graffiti Okay?

  1. Environmental Effects of Aerosol Cans
    The modern CFC-free aerosols still emit the volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which still affect the ozone and the environment. The VOCs are the primary component of the asthma-inducing smog.

    Using the spray cans to deliver the message is kind of hypocritical really!

  2. I would say graffiti is ok when it pushes boundaries or provokes thought and conversation. It provides a political or social commentary and may contribute to the spread of an idea or change.

  3. I was disappointed that there was not an option, Graffetti is OK when it is within a select area, but then I suppose that is a no brainer.
    That Graffetti on the bridge, in my mind, borders on vandalism. It is a great message, but applied wrongly, and potentially turning people away from the message stated..

    1. Hi Yande, yes you are right, needed that extra option. I know in Canberra they have specific legal graffiti sites around the city. And yes the graffiti on the bridge is looking like an act of vandalism with a controversial message.

  4. What would the response have been if a person write “Vote NO” during the SSM debate? Or if Israel Folou wrote up his strong messages! How far do activists get to go? Moruya is a greenie/lefty-type town, so the current graffiti is accepted, and there is no Twitter outrage. As long as the graffiti is an acceptable message, it seems to be tolerated. That inconsistency is where the message is lost, as it has been with the whole climate change waffle we continue to be inundated with in the media.

    1. Hi Clark, do you feel there would be more outrage if the graffiti has said: “Don’t save the climate”?

      If I get what you are saying is that because a lot of people agree with the graffiti then it is less offensive even though it is graffiti?

    2. Yes, the acceptance is relative. In saying that, my summary is that political graffiti is not acceptable. But then, someone’s art is another’s graffiti. It’s not black and white. But it probably comes down to who owns the property being grafittied as to whether it’s acceptable or not.

    3. The placement of the graffiti does make a big difference for sure. I like your comment in regards to who owns the property.

  5. Honestly, I think there’s a difference between street art and graffiti that in which is determined whether and individual has had permission before implementing the tag, the intention before hand and the venue or area in which is being defaced.
    If one tags an area for a laugh, that’s pure menacing and pest full where as if one tags an area with a meaningful / insightful messages or beautiful images that’s when it’s admired rather than shunned.

    1. You have some interesting points, Katelyn.

      Does the meaning of the art/graffiti change if it was legally or illegally done?

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