We have already read about how city of Bruges in Belgium showcases its Public Art. Another city in Belgium is know for its different form of art- graffiti. This is Ghent. We are talking about Graffiti Street in Ghent. This narrow alley called Werregaren straat, between Vrijdagmarkt and Groentenmarkt is know as Graffiti Street- a street full of graffiti.
Ghent is a university town and hence obviously a city with active youth culture. We associate this generation with more expressive behaviour such as graffitis. Belgium has historically been a big centre of art. Combined with a historical interest in art, in Ghent we see streets where whole walls are covered in cartoons. Ghent is also territory of renowned artists such as ROA and the Blue Warrior.
So this street has graffiti all around, painted and repainted by artists of all stripes. Entire alley, from sidewalk and across every inch of the tall concrete walls are covered with multiple layers of Graffiti.
Some part of the street is covered and even the ceiling has been converted into canvas by enthusiastic painters.
People will draw cartoons, caricatures, write slogans or just create random scribble and tags. Everybody is free to come and express itself- to draw a new graffiti altogether, modify a previous graffiti or whatever. This is an open drawing board.
What we get is an extraordinary expression of ideas, emotions, doubts and commitments. Street artists are free to decorate it as they please.
Graffiti street is located in central part of the Ghent city and for years it has been a popular attraction for tourists coming to Ghent.
Even the walkway has been painted at many places. It is said that in the ’90s this space was designated by the officials as a legal spot for graffiti to try and keep the rest of the city free of it. Gradually, this place developed into a landmark.
So tremendous has been the response to this for of art that Street Art Belgium has created an entire walking tour along some of Ghent’s best street art. A tourist can even get a map of the Concrete Canvas Tour. It is a city where culture is lurking on every corner. There are already lot of colourful mural artworks spread around town.
Ghent is said to have a balanced policy towards public graffiti- keeping it free and unregularised where it is allowed and be strict where it is not.
City officials try to track people who are responsible for a graffiti in places where it isn’t allowed. It also forces them to pay for the removal of the works. City officials also offer free removal of graffiti from anywhere if owners ask for it.
But people can always suggest new graffiti walls and city is open to discuss that.
So that there can be new art pieces created for joy of all art-lovers.