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University of Lincoln students use graffiti skills to transform warehouse

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: September 08, 2012

  • University of Lincoln artists Alison Rattigan, left, Alix Verity, Nikki Wynne, Myles Allanson, Liane Green, Myles Hamiliton and Nathan Boden.

  • University of Lincoln art student Myles Hamilton was part of a group which has transformed a tired-looking building in Firth Road, Lincoln

  • University of Lincoln artist Nathan Boden at work

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Illustration students from the University of Lincoln have put their graffiti skills to work to transform a city warehouse.

The students had been looking for a large space to demonstrate their graffiti skills legally and approached William Sinclair Ltd.

The company, which specialises in commercial and domestic horticultural products, agreed to let them transform the outside of its Firth Road warehouse.

The project began with the artists door-knocking local residents and asking what they would like to see in the artwork before initial sketches were drawn up.

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Student Alison Rattigan, 50, said: "We have wanted a space to practice our skills for a long time.

"We asked Sinclairs if we could do anything on their property and they went away and thought about it before coming back and saying yes.

"We got ideas from local residents which was important to us and we came up with a design. We have never worked on this scale before so it was a challenge and an experience but we are delighted with how things have turned out."

While not an official university project, the students believe skills they develop during the 150ft project could help them in future studies.

"Half of us have never used spray paints before but we have been practising and the lads in the group have been giving us pointers," said Mrs Rattigan.

"It has been a really great experience and hopefully it will help in the future."

Meanwhile, Nathan Boden, 21, hopes the project will tackle the stereotypes that come with graffiti.

"The negative attitude towards graffiti is quite outdated and needs to be challenged," he said. "Hopefully what we have done here will help to do that."

William Sinclair Ltd bought £900 worth of materials for the students to use and was more than happy to provide a legal space for them to practice.

CEO PA Kelly Trown said: "When they approached us, we were happy to help them out once we had gone through the legal channels.

"They have come up with a design everyone is happy with and it has really improved the wall. The feedback has been excellent and everybody at the company is delighted with how things have turned out."

Meanwhile, community artist Rose Hunt praised the students' work.

"It's wonderful to see young artists bringing their skills to brighten up this dreary part of the canal," she said.

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  • girlnextdoor1  |  September 10 2012, 1:36PM

    live round the corner from this "art". In my opinion , it looks as though it has been created by school age artists rather the university level students. I dont believe it has changed the feel of the area and would bet the youths will not last a month before they restore it to its former state. I think lincolnshire council should do more to protect local businesses from vandalism and anyone caught should be made to remove graffiti so hard working student dont have to detract from their courses to correct somebody else's mess

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  • camelherder  |  September 08 2012, 6:39AM

    I cycle past these premises daily and what a transformation they have achieved it has gone from the grotty graffiti tags making the area look run down to a nice bright feel as you ride past. The residents who overlook this side of Sinclair's from the other side of the river must be pleased that the old graffiti has gone it had been there for years.

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