Graffiti can be positive for the community, says Morden street artist


Some see it as a way of bringing people together


By Christine Dorisamy Pillai

A Morden street artist says that graffiti doesn’t have to be linked to the negativity that it is often associated with.

The 23-year-old artist, who prefers to go by her street name, ‘Natcho’, has said that street art can in fact bring communities together.

Her comments came after her idea to revamp the Skewer Arch tunnel in Raynes Park was rejected.

Natcho had wanted to get a few other graffiti artists together to brighten up the tunnel with some of their artwork.

Although Morden Council had backed the idea, objections were raised by Network Rail, who own the tunnel, over maintenance and the possibility that it could attract crime to the area.

However, Natcho, says that neither of these things would be an issue if the tunnel became a ‘tolerated area’ like the Leake Street tunnel at Waterloo.  

“My idea was that it could be a mini version of that,” she said.

“We would paint it and if more people wanted to come and paint over it that would have been fine.

“Because people see that they can do it, it would become less taboo.”

Natcho has also been involved with workshops with a company called ‘Graffiti Life’ who put on workshops to create murals in playgrounds or for community life.

She spent a week in Peckham learning how to create a big mural and working with other people.

“It was a positive art form rather than the negative one that everyone thinks it is,” she said.

Having recently graduated from university, her future dreams include doing sports photography, owning a gallery or opening pop-up galleries.

She has also made a film where she spoke to a solicitor, an MP, the artist and gallery owner Pure evil and other graffiti artists.

“Maybe if it was legal people would be more accepting of it,” she said.

“But the views I kept getting was that it’s a rebellious act so if it’s made legal then maybe the edge would be taken away from it.”

She hasn’t done many illegal works because although she gets a rush from them, she doesn’t want to have to look over her shoulder and she wants graffiti to be seen as a good thing.

 “As much as I think there should be more legal walls, I don’t think it will ever change to become a legal pastime. But I do think if there were more legal walls, perceptions would changed as people see a different side to it,” she said.

“Call it graffiti instantly you get a negative reaction, but call it urban art or street art people think something different.”

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