Ogden Street’s colourful run

The RUN Collective's latest street artwork, commissioned by the Townsville City Council, can be found on Ogden Street opposite McDonald's.

Townsville’s CBD is in the process of being injected with even more colour and vibrancy, as the latest addition to our growing street art collection is being finalised by local group the RUN Collective.

RUN Collective’s John Bradshaw said the piece, stretching along the side wall of the old Powerhouse building’s rear entrance, was deliberately left open for interpretation by everyone who sees it.

“The whole piece is about embracing the graffiti culture, incorporating elements we’re inspired by that relate to that culture: so have this locomotive train running through for instance. When you see trains coming through traffic lights, you’ll see graff pieces here and there on them,” John said.

“There’s a bit of abstraction with the patterns and geometric shapes mixed through and the organic flowing cloud tying it all together. I want it to be open to the public and not have a direct meaning – people can have their own interpretation of what they’re seeing and what the objects mean to them.”

RUN Collective’s Shane ‘Troubles’ Keen said creating commissioned street art presented new opportunities for the group to leave its mark across other cities.

“The more work we do with the [Townsville] Council, they’re going to write us references then hopefully will get approached by other Councils in other cities to go and paint murals there. At the moment we’re just slowly working around making connections and contacts in other places so we can have murals and exhibitions in other towns as well,” Shane said.

“We’ve been playing with mixing graff and projection together so after this will try that at some Festivals, mix up styles and bring other elements into it. When we finish this, we’ll start painting something else even if we’re not getting paid for it. We’re trying to extend our skill base and techniques. This is good because we can do it on such a big scale, but it’s good to work together and nut out new ideas.”

Member of Townsville City Council’s Street Art Activation work group, Cr Russ Cook, said the continued introduction of more street art was helping Townsville’s progression towards staking its claim as North Queensland’s cultural hub.

“Melbourne and Sydney both come to mind where all the streets link in to each other and they have amazing street art, and with that linkage it’s turning into a tourist attraction. And we’re starting to find that in Townsville, especially along Ogden Street and Little Denham where there’s a lot of colourful street art, people take wedding and promotional photos in front of it so it is something we may be able to turn into an attraction in the future,” Cr Cook said.

“At the end of the day, street art is an outlet for a lot of our young people to express themselves and discover their hidden talents. Through it, there have been quite a few people who have been unearthed and who have turned it into careers even though they may have started with graffiti, then realised they had a skill and could make a career out of it.

“Having these legal street art activations is allowing local as well as national and international artists to showcase their skills and highlight them to Townsville and tourists.”

Find RUN Collective’s new street art installation on Ogden Street, hiding along the side of the old Powerhouse building’s rear entrance.

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