Wall art?

Heading down Swanston street this morning I saw a couple of guys setting up to do some painting. On my way back in the afternoon they had made some progress. I have often wondered how large paintings on the side of buildings are actually produced.

When I was at Teachers College there was a compulsory subject that was a bit of a bore. PPT – the principles and practices of teaching. It was all about using technology to support classroom practice. This included spirit duplicators, gestetners, slides, film projection and mention was even made of the epidiascope even though it had been recently superseded by the overhead projector. OK it was a while ago.

But most of the time was spent on the blackboard as a chalkboard was then called. This is well before they became a trendy cafe menu device. We learned that by soaking the chalk in a sugar solution, you could make semi permanent lines that would only come off with washing. A great time saver. For potential infant teachers it was very important to be able to create lively pictures and of course a map of Australia on the board was essential for social studies. We even had a blackboard writing test. If you have ever tried it, it is not easy to keep things straight or spell correctly when writing on a wall.

The secret we were let in on was the existence of large brown paper templates with lots of pin holes that you taped up onto the board and then hit with a dusty blackboard eraser. When you took the paper down a faint outline of the illustration or map could then be traced over.

And this is the same technique the wall painters I saw today were using. First they taped up cut out shapes from their design, and marked around it. Then they filled in with paint.

But is it art? If you look closely at the design on the bench, it is an ad for a sports broadcaster.

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One response to “Wall art?

  1. Interesting. I did a similar unit in my degree, although we didn’t learn anything useful about chalk and blackboards. We did do multi-coloured Roneo spirit duplicator sheets, but then no school I taught at had a Roneo machine.

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