September 28, 2022 8.44 pm This story is over 14 months old

Council backs Spalding street art scheme despite unauthorised piece

One artist’s work was removed after going off-topic

Spalding is likely to welcome more street art – even though one artist’s rogue piece was taken down during the pilot.

The council had approved local artists to create colourful pieces for the town.

However, they were surprised when the a large piece which was expected to be about the environment was created showing a hungry child surrounded by soaring bills.

Artist Karl Barfoot claimed he wanted to draw attention to the cost of living crisis instead.

He created the large piece on boards attached to the Castle Sports Complex several weeks ago.

The council said the unauthorised artwork “fell under the designation of graffiti rather than street art”.

The boards were removed and put in storage.

Karl said at the time: “It just portrays what’s going on, I didn’t intend it to be political but I suppose it sort of is, because obviously that’s what’s caused that but I didn’t mean it along those lines.”

A tribute to Captain Tom Moore by Karl Barfoot | Photo: Karl Barfoot

Despite this setback, the council says the pilot scheme was a success and more permanent pieces should be created.

A report into it says: “Whilst it is accepted that there is a fine line between graffiti and street art, the policy does set out clear principles for addressing them”, and says the right decision was made.

It adds that positive feedback was received on a separate piece addressing mental health that was created near the Castle field toilet block.

If the report is approved, council officers will work with the arts and education sector on future pieces.

Batman’s Joker. | Image: Karl Barfoot

The removed artwork will be handed back to Karl, who plans to auction it off in the future.

Karl and fellow graffiti artist Adam Sadd approached and convinced the council to begin the scheme through a petition last year.

They said a similar initiative in Peterborough has been a “huge attraction for the city”.

The trial is set to be discussed at South Holland’s Policy Development Panel on Tuesday, October 4.