Graffiti Artist making a difference, one mural at a time

21 Feb 2024

Graffiti Artist making a difference, one mural at a time featured image

Social worker, company director, festival curator, accomplished artist and now recipient of the Bob and June Prickett Churchill Fellowship, David Collins from the Northern Territory is a busy man.

David’s Fellowship will examine early intervention and restorative justice programs using public art, with people at-risk or caught in the criminal justice system. Thanks to a Churchill Fellowship, David is heading to the USA, where he will spend time observing and learning from The LA Street Art Initiative and Mural Arts Philadelphia. These two community centred organisations use art to engage communities and create positive change.

“Mural Arts Philadelphia has been the world leader in this work for 35 years and are open to sharing their knowledge and educating the public. The LA Street Art Initiative focuses on the reciprocity between young people and the community to support healing.” said David.

“Visiting these programs will provide guidance on structures and frameworks when intersecting these fields and how to implement this in the Northern Territory and potentially across Australia.” said David.

“David has already given so much to the Darwin community both in his work as an artist and as a social worker.” said Rachael Coghlan, CEO of the Winston Churchill Trust. “The Churchill Trust is thrilled to be involved as David learns more about early intervention with at risk youth and we look forward to the immense benefit David’s learnings will contribute to both his local community and to Australia as a whole.”

Over his career, David has done a lot of work with at risk youth and people with a disability, getting them to flex their creativity and participate in street art. Many of the projects David has worked on are crime prevention graffiti art, deterring graffiti by creating something dynamic and engaging on what was previously a blank wall or a bus shelter.

“It’s good for them to be involved in a project with heaps of credit,” said David when talking about his community engagement work. “It’s about pride of place. It’s a sense of being part of an amazing project that you get feedback on and they get proud.”

Proper Creative, the company that David runs with his business partner Jesse has collaborated on projects including work with Katherine Regional Arts and the Anglicare NT restorative justice program called U-Turn.

Use the categories below to filter the search results: