Yum To Go owner wants businesses to embrace and expand laneway street art in Tamworth

PERMANENT EXHIBITION: Shop-owner Kathleen Barden with local artist Shane Salvador hope this new mural will inspire the rest of the CBD laneway. Photo: Gareth Gardner

PERMANENT EXHIBITION: Shop-owner Kathleen Barden with local artist Shane Salvador hope this new mural will inspire the rest of the CBD laneway. Photo: Gareth Gardner

ONE shop-owner has taken an artful approach to bring a bit more life to the city’s laneways.

Kathleen Barden owns Yum To Go bakery on Peel St, and she joined with local artist Shane Salvador and Tamworth Regional Council to unveil the city’s latest piece of street art.

Mrs Barden was inspired to put a new face on the back of her shop after seeing Mr Salvador’s work at Granny Munro Park in Coledale and the wall mural on the former BWS building in Brisbane St.

The Peel St shop-owner called on her business neighbours to join in the art attack in the back lane adjacent to Kable Ave.

“I’d love to see some businesses be a little bit brave,” she told The Leader.

Mrs Barden said she left the design largely up to Mr Salvador.

She hoped the mural would simply be an expression of art rather than an advertising billboard.

“If you make your town interesting, then you make it a place where people want to go,” she said.

“Also if it just represents Tamworth as a bit more daring, more cultural and more open to different expression, then the whole town benefits.

“I think Tamworth could do well to be seen as more than just the country music festival to outsiders.”

While Mrs Barden has a vision to see her fellow businesses band together and embrace more street art in the back lane to bring some vibrancy to the area, she said it could also stamp out unwanted graffiti.

Mr Salvador, with Dean Sunderland, helped makeover Granny Munro Park in Coledale, which has seen a great reduction in graffiti in the area.

MAKING A MARK: Artist Shane Salvador has helped stem graffiti with his public pieces. Photo: Gareth Gardner 240417GGD02

MAKING A MARK: Artist Shane Salvador has helped stem graffiti with his public pieces. Photo: Gareth Gardner 240417GGD02

He said he’d be happy to add some more artwork to the lane’s walls, if the opportunity became available.

“There’s talks to get a bit of that culture they have in Melbourne and Sydney, around Newtown, to introduce that around here, especially in this kind of area,” he said.

“Recently, I’ve been doing a lot of colour stuff, especially like more animated styles for schools and that sort of thing.

“What I like doing is portraiture and faces, so it’s been a while since I’ve done something like that.”

Russell Webb, who chairs TRC’s crime prevention committee, said public art could be part of the way forward with council recently approving its graffiti management plan.

“We encourage the street art and murals, where appropriate,” Cr Webb said.

He said council hasn’t pinpointed the next site in the region to receive the street-art treatment, but there have been some suggestions put forward.

“There have been calls from some constituents to look at some old grain storage in the rural communities,” Cr Webb said.

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