YEP Letters: September 20

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Art or an eyesore? Your views...

A graffiti artist has brightened up a Leeds street with a mural to inspire youngsters – but it has to be removed. Chris Miller transformed the side of 1 Garton Terrace in East End Park. He was commissioned by its owner after he had seen the artist’s work elsewhere. But following a complaint Leeds City Council has ordered the home owner Anthony Olatunji to remove the art or potentially face a fine. The council has said that some residents consider the graffiti an “eye-sore” as well as “anti-social and offensive” because it features a decapitated person. Artist Mr Miller – of Rothwell – said he wanted to brighten up an area which is a bit of an “urban jungle”. We asked YEP readers for their views and here’s what some of them said on social media...

Sonia White

The piece was commissioned by the property owner, it being his property can’t he use it as he sees fit, it might not be desirable to all but art is meant to be evocative and encourage conversation. This type of art was all across the bottom of the city centre until recently promoting Tour De Yorkshire.

Kayleigh Barrass

When it’s at the top of your street (but one) you don’t see it as artwork! It looks horrific and just makes this bit of the area look even worse than it already does in parts.

Personally I want this area to get better and I think things like this just won’t help at all in the long run. It might be bright and colourful with a motivational quote but it sends out the complete wrong message especially to the kids we’re trying to bring up around here. If some of the kids round here see this and start expressing themselves then all of our houses will end up with spray paint graffiti on them!

Tom Matthews

Thought Leeds had a bid for 2023 European Capital of Culture? Well this is culture.... oh but it’s only culture if it suits the agenda. Granted this particular art is pretty pants but there are a lot of beautiful cities out there with graffiti art and it really does add colour to the city.

Laura Kay

It’s on the side of his house, he’s not looking out onto it every day.

It may be his taste and he can do what he likes inside his own house but he shouldn’t force others to have to look at it day in, day out. It looks a mess.

Andrea Allan

I think he’s really talented. It’s nice and colourful, better than a drab scruffy billboard covered in posters or whatever. I think this kind of talent could be used well in other areas too.

TheSlip Leeds

I really think that graffiti is the least of the problems round East End Park. Maybe try and sort out all the drug deals going on with the young lads on the push bikes dealing outside people’s houses to the sad addicts round there.

Or what about the silly little idiots on the scooters that drive round like lunatics thinking they’re right ‘good’ on the footpaths. Graffiti won’t kill or maim anyone, the imbeciles stated above will do one day.

Jacqueline Horsfield

Leeds City Council are so retrogressive, let’s be honest, it is better than what was there before the artwork. Don’t take it down, the council need to reconsider. It looks awesome!

David Carrick

This is art, good art. Leeds City Council wake up live in the real world, it’s the 21st century.

Barry Cardiss

In downtrodden areas done well, this is fine. But just doing it wherever you want is wrong. Most people, especially the elderly, may see this as sheer ugly graffiti. The council should provide areas as they do in Barcelona where I have recently been.

Liam Small

But the council are for plastering adverting billboards all over the place trying to get people to spend their money, on rubbish they don’t need. Yet when communities and individuals cooperate and try to spread positive messages to kids in a ‘deprived’ area they turn around and say it’s not on. Pathetic.

Kay Webster

in the rundown bin-yards and on recreational areas fair enough, but if it was done on the end of your road would your neighbours all want it?

Adele Mcdonald

I’d rather look at the art than those dull blue boards or those horrific buildings where the old market car park was.

Melissa Fewtrell-Graham

Leeds City Council seem to be stuck in the dark.

Maybe listening to what their people appreciate and moving with the times would be beneficial to our future generation.

This is art! Shoreditch in London has a huge scene. So does Berlin. Woodstock, Cape Town... amongst many other cities across the world. Come on guys. What’s really important here?

Matthew Stringer

If it was done with permission I don’t see the problem with it being there.

Barry Brown

Why are Leeds Council acting like this? They actively encourage this art work abroad.

Laura Larkin

My daughter absolutely loved this and made me reverse and stop so she could have a picture with it.

Carol Thompson

Well I think it’s miles better than looking at scruffy hoardings. Well done to the artist.

Rick Poppa

It’s art, a way of self expression...this isn’t graffiti.

Martin Walker

Graffiti is art as is so many other pieces. There’s nothing that everyone likes, which is fine.

There’s some great graffiti along the Leeds/Liverpool Canal under one of the bridges.

There’ll always be someone who complains, but we have to be careful about the sensitivities of others.

New colony of Humboldt penguins in the new Costal Zone at Lotherton Hall.
21st November 2017.
Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe

YEP Letters: November 22