Graffiti artist brightens up Stevenage underpass with imaginative murals

PUBLISHED: 17:38 22 August 2020 | UPDATED: 17:38 22 August 2020

Artist Mark Tanti has brightened up the underpass near Asda in Stevenage with some large murals. Picture: Courtesy of Hertfordshire County Council

Artist Mark Tanti has brightened up the underpass near Asda in Stevenage with some large murals. Picture: Courtesy of Hertfordshire County Council

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A busy pedestrian subway in Stevenage has been repainted with colourful designs by a talented graffiti and mural artist.

The murals are part of a project across Hertfordshire to make cycling and walking more attractive options for people. Picture: Courtesy of Hertfordshire County CouncilThe murals are part of a project across Hertfordshire to make cycling and walking more attractive options for people. Picture: Courtesy of Hertfordshire County Council

The underpass near Monkswood Way’s Asda has been transformed by Mark Tanti, who wanted to showcase his talents in a community project.

Mark lives in Stevenage and set up his company Demograffix in 2007 - a graffiti art service - after completing a degree in public and community art at Greenwich University.

He said: “I have been a resident artist in Stevenage for many years now, starting off as a Digswell artist at Fairlands Farmhouse in Fairlands Valley Park, and now a member of the Stevenage Arts Society and Herts Visual Arts.

“My aim is to brighten up the underpasses, as this will improve people’s mental health and enrich their lives.

The new artwork has received a positive response from people living in the town. Picture: Courtesy of Hertfordshire County CouncilThe new artwork has received a positive response from people living in the town. Picture: Courtesy of Hertfordshire County Council

“I hope to encourage more people to use the underpasses and benefit from the public artwork turning towns into public art galleries. This will attract people to the towns to see the artwork and will help local economies.

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“The public response so far has been amazing. People have expressed great joy and appreciation for the work, and also say they wish to see more around town.”

People have taken to Facebook to express their delight at the new public artwork, repeatedly describing it as “awesome”. One person said: “I love the concept of brightening up the streets,” and another added: “I think all the underpasses need to be painted like this.”

Mark aims to turn towns into public art galleries with his community artwork. Picture: Courtesy of Hertfordshire County CouncilMark aims to turn towns into public art galleries with his community artwork. Picture: Courtesy of Hertfordshire County Council

Phil Bibby, Hertfordshire County Council’s cabinet member for highways and environment, said: “It’s fantastic that a local artist has offered his time to brighten up this busy pedestrian subway in the town.

“The new design makes the subway feel brighter and more welcoming, which is great news for the many people who use it every day.”

The county council’s highways team has painted over the new designs with a clear graffiti-proof covering to help keep them in good condition.

The redecoration is part of a programme of works to brighten and improve pedestrian subways across Hertfordshire to make walking and cycling more attractive options for residents.

The underpass was dull and uninspiring before Mark brought it to life with his bright and imaginative murals. Picture: Courtesy of Hertfordshire County CouncilThe underpass was dull and uninspiring before Mark brought it to life with his bright and imaginative murals. Picture: Courtesy of Hertfordshire County Council

For more about Mark’s community work, follow his Demograffix Facebook page.


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