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The last couple of months have been great for Sheffield’s street art scene. Thanks to the current Feature Walls event as well as the Antiques Quarter Art Project and Festival of the Mind we have seen an incredible number of large wall murals painted across our city. So it really saddened me when I learnt last week that the recently painted Visions of the Future by Rocket01 on Abbeydale Road had been vandalised.

Photo of the defaced Rocket01. Credit: BBC Radio Sheffield.

One would have hoped that this would have been an isolated incident, but then I discovered earlier today that Faunagraphic’s new wall mural at the back of the Red Lion on Charles Lane had also been scrawled over despite only been painted over the last few days. I went down to Charles Lane on my lunch break earlier today to find Faunagraphic working hard to repair the damage and continue painting her latest gift to the city. So thank you Faunagraphic for giving more of your time to restore your artwork. Whilst the vandals may not appreciate your hard work and creativity the vast majority of us do!

Photo of the defaced Faunagraphic mural by Laura Kishimoto

Unfortunately, just round the corner the popular wall mural of David Attenborough and the more hidden away mural of Patrick Moore have also been defaced. I’ve often been asked what is the difference between street art and vandalism. I think the answer is clear: these wall murals are creative works of art for everyone to enjoy, the defacing scrawl is just obvious vandalism and a criminal act.

It would seem that someone is possibly deliberately targeting Rocket01 as a lot of these attacks have been on his works. Whatever their issue is with him, they are taking it out on us all, robbing us of our street art. I refer to it as “our street art” because these murals are for us. The artists have chosen to gift their skills to public spaces so that everyone can enjoy their works. It is there for everyone to appreciate, to make our city more colourful. Whoever these vandals are their actions are not creative, they contribute nothing; instead they take away. Let’s hope we’ve seen the last of these attacks.

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