Thriving Townsville street art scene ‘on par’ with world’s best, says public art researcher


This city of North Queensland is rapidly emerging as a hotspot for international street art maps, which may seem unlikely to some.

The building on CBD in Townsville is adorned with eye-catching art, turning the city into a spectacular public gallery.

The colorful works form the basis of Griffith University’s research on how public art is used to promote urban regeneration and boost social capital.

Dr. Matthews states that the quality of street art in Townsville is an international standard.((((ABC North Queensland: Zilla Gordon).

Researcher Dr. Tony Matthews evaluated the 26 artworks that make up part of the public art walking tour.

“They were on par with what you would see internationally in terms of quality of art, quality of delivery, quality of materials, and choice of location,” he said.

The city is one of the three regions of Queensland selected for research and interviews with leading public art producers, elected officials, urban planners and public art experts. Participated.

Painting of sugar glider on a white brick wall
The Street Art Trail displays works by internationally renowned artists, including ROA.((((ABC North Queensland: Zilla Gordon).

The findings are published in the international journal Cities, and Dr. Matthews believes will push Townsville to the international arena.

“The main importance of this study is not to focus on public art, but to explore Australian provincial cities. Australia’s provincial cities are very strong, attracting attention and international attention. Should be done, “he said.


But that didn’t happen overnight.

The scene didn’t exist when Townsville artist Garth Jankovic arrived in the city in 1992.

Turtle rides a crocodile in a mural
Townsville artist Garth Jankovic says it took years for the scene to develop.((((ABC North Queensland: Zilla Gordon).

“I was almost an OG [original gangster],” He said.

“The council participated in the late 90’s and began to actively participate and nurture the scene.”

Brick wall with a picture of a man in a white shirt
Jankovic is immortal in the scene he helped create.((((ABC North Queensland: Zilla Gordon).

Jankovic, in collaboration with his friend Nicky Prior, combined the First Nations scene with the Euro street style to create a soap tree that forms part of the mural Girroogul and street art walking trails.

“When I go to Melbourne, it’s a very European graffiti style,” says Jankovic.

“Townsville is a little more, you know, you understand a little more about demographics [and] You can get more people by combining street art and graffiti with traditional ones. “

The 48-year-old is a huge contributor to the scene, and his portrait by his mentee and best friend Lee Hahnden is on the art trail.

“I don’t go there often because it spins me out,” Jankovic said.

The possibility of tourism

A study at Griffith University identified a variety of figurative and abstract styles and vibrant colors.

Dr. Matthews said that given the quality of the work, there can be more to promote the trail as a tourism draw card.

A collection of images drawn on a blue wall
The Townsville City Council says it is looking for opportunities to expand the street art trail.((((ABC North Queensland: Zilla Gordon).

“I know there are walking guides on public art trails in this city that are very popular with tourists and attract tourists,” he said.

Liam Mooney, a Townsville city council member, said this was an ongoing project.

“We’re always looking for a diverse street artist who has a canvas for these artists to work on, in collaboration with real estate owners within and beyond the CBD,” he said.

Two colorful turtles and a mural on a blue wall
The Street Art Trail in Townsville contains more than 20 works.((((ABC North Queensland: Zilla Gordon).

Councilor Mooney welcomed the findings of Griffith University.

“It justifies what I believe-that we should spend our time, our efforts, our resources on art space,” he said.

According to Jankovic, the street art scene in Townsville reflects the characteristics of northern Queensland.

“People who come there really make me think it’s not just an outback town, a sea town, a tropical town,” he said.

“It’s like a crucible of all that together, and I think street art really captures it.”



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