Stevenage's Banksy brings another community mural to town's underpasses
- Credit: Mark Tanti
A graffiti artist has put the final touches to another community mural, adding a splash of colour to a once dreary Stevenage underpass.
With the blessing of Herts Highways, Mark Tanti - more commonly known by his tag Demograffix - was determined to brighten up Stevenage's underpass network with family friendly art, and to bring joy to those who pass by.
Inspired by the 1953 Disney animated classic Peter Pan, Mark got to work spray painting the entire tunnel - which connects Asda to the police station - blue, before sketching out his pre-approved design, bursting with characters and motifs from the film.
"I'm using Disney-related characters to appeal to young kids and families, and to make the place feel safer and friendly," Mark told the Comet.
Doing all the character work himself, Mark enlisted the help of some friends and fellow street artists to complete the wording and wider details of the mammoth mural.
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The project, which took Mark and his team of volunteers a week to complete, is a voluntary piece for the people of Stevenage, with Mark donating his time and materials for the project.
"Although I'm a graffiti artist by trade - I do people's bedrooms, restaurants, businesses - as a hobby I like to paint regularly, and it's just nice to be able to do it in the town that I live in and to get recognition for it."
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Residents may also recognise Mark's Demograffix work on other Stevenage-based murals, including his Land Before Time and Sword in the Stone pieces, which brighten up the busy Monkswood Way area of town.
Stating his reasons for taking on the challenge of designing and painting the decorative pieces, Mark said he does it so there's artwork readily accessible for the community to enjoy: "I often get families walking through, saying how much they love it," he said.
Determined to turn the town’s dreary underpasses into public art galleries, Mark is appealing for people to support his community projects.
"It's a prime spot there, but I'm aiming to do some other works around.
"I've got some stuff up in the St Nicholas area, but we're going to take it around Stevenage and turn the highways into a public gallery of artwork."
To help to continue bringing family-friendly street art to Stevenage and other towns in Herts, Demograffix has set up a GoFundMe to support his work and fund his material costs.