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Art The Walls

THE DARWIN STREET ART FESTIVAL (DSAF) is back with some of the biggest names yet. There’s even a street party in West Lane for everyone to help celebrate.

Local street art legend and the man behind the festival, David Collins, had a yarn about what’s on the cards this year.

DSAF’s got some big names this year, including Sofles, Vexx and Odeith. Is Darwin now on the map for world-class street artists?

Yeah, definitely. There are international and national artists who are seeing who we’ve worked with over the last few years, and word travels among the street art community that Darwin is a good place to visit and work.

You’re almost a born and bred Darwin artist – what’s it like for you to share Darwin with these heavy-hitters in the scene?
It’s great. It’s been cool to ring someone up that I’ve admired my whole life and find out they’ve heard about me and the work I do up here. It’s also exiting taking visitors around and showing them local eats and the parts of Darwin that I love.

Was that part of the motivation of getting the festival going, to share Darwin with more people?
A part of me wanted to start DSAF in Darwin for the people of Darwin first, so we could have world-class art free in our streets. The other side was so bring these artists here and show off the town that I love and that I grew up in.

Has the festival had a broader impact on tourism, too?
I probably didn’t realise the impact of the tourism benefits. When tourists come here to see Kakadu and Litchfield, I didn’t really think about what they do when they’re waiting in between tours in town and how popular the street art walks would be. I challenge anyone to stand in West Land or Austin lane for more than 20 minutes in the middle of the day and not see someone stop in their tracks or take a photo!

THU 5 – SUN 15 SEP | darwinstreetartfestival.com.au

Image: David Collins with artwork by Tom Gerrard/AEON

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