Blue Mountains street art gallery showcases UWS research
An innovative new University of Western Sydney research project exploring how digital technology can link young artists and the community is on show at Australia's largest outdoor street art gallery.
On Saturday the 20th of June, more than 3,000 square meters of wall space in the Blue Mountains will be transformed into a canvas for some of the world's best street artists for the Street Art Walk.
Many of the sites are up to three story's high, giving ample space for the artists to paint impressive large-scale murals.
Against this colourful backdrop, a research project led by Dr Neil Hall and funded by the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre will explore the role digital technology can play in facilitating reciprocal positive engagement between young artists and the community.
Through the use of image recognition software and QR codes accompanying each mural site, passers-by will have access to information about the artist and the creation of the artwork through audio and video footage, along with the possibility to provide feedback.
"We know that young people and communities both benefit from being connected to each other," says Dr Hall, from the UWS School of Social Sciences and Psychology.
"With this research, we're hoping to see whether the digital technologies associated with the street art walk can help make that connection stronger."
The founder and coordinator of Street Art Murals Jarrod Wheatley is hopeful the project will change public perceptions of Street Art.
"We waste vast amounts of tax payers dollar on then endless cycle of cleaning graffiti, but perhaps even more damaging to our community is that we also fail to capitalise on the positive elements of street art that benefit our whole community," says Mr Wheatley,
"Urban beautification, tourism and increased social inclusion can be street art's legacy, if we allow it."
The Street Art Walk, organized by Street Art Murals Australia in partnership with Blue Mountains Cultural Centre, will be launched in the Beverly Place laneway, Katoomba, Blue Mountains, on Saturday 20 June in conjunction with the 22nd Blue Mountains Winter Magic Festival.
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