Story Starter: Graffiti Art

A graffiti portrait of Kengo Kuma.

When someone says “graffiti”, what’s the first thing that springs to mind?

Vandalism? Gang tags? Train tracks? Young people? Banksy?

In Dundee we have two “graffiti walls”, though I think they’re actually termed art walls – and you can see why from my pictures. Two today.

The first is a portrait that appeared this week on the wall beside the path where I go for my lunchtime walk. Or is it a fence? Does a wall have to be made of stone? Does a fence have to be slatted? This one’s made of chipboard panels and behind it are the old railway marshalling yards.

The tracks have long ago been lifted and now the whole area is lying dormant, being decontaminated ready for future building. I did once run into a chap down there who asked me about the area, and when I told him about the railway yards, he used a word for that decontamination process – and I’m darned if I can remember it, though it was perfectly descriptive of the process.

Art Wall

Anyway, the art wall and my first picture. It’s a portrait of Kengo Kuma, architect of the remarkable new V&A Dundee Museum. We’ve watched it take shape over the last three years, and this week Kuma visited to see the completed building for the first time. It’s due to open to the public in September.

The graffiti portrait is by way of a thank you for this spectacular addition to the city’s skyline. I find it incredible that it’s achieved with cans of spray paint.

Spice Gulls

This second pic is further along that same wall and it made me giggle. One of the graffiti artists calls himself C.GuL and paints stylised pictures of the seagulls that hover constantly over Dundee. Only this time it’s the Spice Gulls!

Spice Gulls!

So, graffiti, gulls or giggles – which theme will you choose?


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Shirley Blair

Fiction Ed Shirley’s been with the “Friend” since 2007 and calls it her dream job because she gets to read fiction all day every day. Hobbies? Well, that would be reading! She also enjoys writing fiction when she has time, long walks, travel, and watching Scandi thrillers on TV.