Arctic rocks, hut walls.
How about ancient rock art from Maori and other cultures that are centuries old?
Are these not forms of graffiti art too? In my mind, yes they are - of course. Many of these go back to ancient times.
Now come forward to the twenty first century - what do we invariably see today?
More often than not, achieved with spray cans...............But it is not all bad.
For years I biked to school past the Canterbury Sale Yards by South Hagley Park in Christchurch - a huge hive of activity many days with auctioneers and farmers in abundance. Sadly this have gone, but the old yards and buildings remain there - but not for much longer. It has become a popular for wedding photos. I have photographed models in there, and recently I have occasionally started taking my granddaughter there with our cameras. There is some great graffiti in there and, if you go back there every few months, it is constantly evolving.
Most of this graffiti is clever and to a large extent welcomed and appreciated, albeit illegally on abandoned walls. But it is not immediately removed - invariably it is left there for all to view over time, and fellow graffiti artists do not spray over it, at least not in the short term. Go back up to the image above (looking through the windows) - here you are beginning to see what I call tagging. Notice that it is not covering the arty forms of graffiti - yes sometimes, but more often avoided - directly proportional to the number of brains cells owned by the tagger.
And this is where the difference comes by. Yes, tagging is just another form of graffiti - but here I find that tagging is almost always unacceptable and definitely not appreciated.
The true graffiti artists are frequently very clever and truly artist - and their skills need to be honed. Taggers need to be put away!
Late last year Chris and I took the van down to Lake Alexandrina for a break. In the morning we spotted a large rock on a distant and remote ridge up towards the Cass Valley, so headed up to it after breakfast. Another Parry's Rock I wondered silently.
My disappointment was huge. All I could see here was tagging with no graffiti artistry in evidence at all. It angered me immensely. Mindless vandalism.
A far cry from Parry's Rock graffiti almost 200 years ago.
On that note I'll end this subject. I acknowledge that I may have it all wrong and that my definitions of graffiti and tagging are likely off the mark, but at least I feel better for airing the subject and writing about some history.