Shire artist Mulga in demand in new council scheme to fight graffiti

Cock-a-hoop about "Eberto": Miranda artist Joel Moore, aka Mulga, with the black cockatoo mural he painted as part of Inner West Council’s "Perfect Match" program. Picture: Daniel Munoz
Cock-a-hoop about "Eberto": Miranda artist Joel Moore, aka Mulga, with the black cockatoo mural he painted as part of Inner West Council’s "Perfect Match" program. Picture: Daniel Munoz

What's proving the most potent weapon in the battle against graffiti artists defacing homes? The answer is surprising: art.

Inner West Council has been experimenting with matching the owners of graffiti-targeted homes with mural artists to paint their walls with vivid designs to keep the vandals at bay - and is celebrating startling success.

Other councils plan to copy its "Perfect Match" scheme.

Sutherland Shire artist Joel Moore, known as Mulga, says he loves the scheme, whereby the council pays the artists a negotiated fee for their work.

“It's a bit harder doing such big work, rather than small paintings, but I'm really enjoying it," he says.

“The end result is really satisfying and hopefully people will enjoy the painting and leave it alone."

The latest home owner to sign up for the scheme, bringing together property owners with artists whose work they like, is architect and designer Eberto Escandon.

Perfect Match: Building owner Eberto Escandon and shire artist Joel Moore (Mulga) discuss the Inner West Council's anti-graffiti scheme. Picture: Daniel Munoz

Perfect Match: Building owner Eberto Escandon and shire artist Joel Moore (Mulga) discuss the Inner West Council's anti-graffiti scheme. Picture: Daniel Munoz

The three-storey block of nine units where he lives, on Station Street, Marrickville, is constantly being tagged.

So he and fellow apartment owners were shown samples of images and asked to say which they liked.

They loved the work of professional artist Moore, 35, and asked him to come up with a design for the facade, 13.7 metres by 6.7 metres high.

Moore mocked up an image of a black cockatoo in sunglasses and a bow tie, holding a waratah, and dubbed him Eberto.

“We loved his design," says Escandon, 40.

“It'll also be coated with an anti-graffiti paint and we believe such a beautiful image will really deter vandals.

“We're keen to make our building look as nice as it can."