Nost Thoughts

A couple of thoughts about Nost’s massive tag/bomb capping all the tags and bombs that had accumulated along lower section of the 30 year old Smith Street feminist  mural. I haven’t been out to see or photograph the wall, I doubt that I will ever have time for that and I trust that others already have digitised it documenting it for history.

Tagging on this massive scale becomes a kind of buffing. The amount of block colour covering the wall makes it essentially buffing. This makes Nost in this case a kind of grey ghost, the anonymous men who in response to graffiti and street art unofficially buff walls.

Towards the end of the Fitzroy Flasher’s post there is a critique of Megan Evans and Eve Glenn’s original mural. Arguing “a faded, neglected and in my humble opinion, outdated public mural” that need to be refreshed. Fitzroy Flasher’s points out that the original mural is “poorly painted”, that “the perspective is wrong, shadows not true to where they should fall” and that it was not as good as the work of Adnate or Kaffeine.

Fitzroy Flasher’s critique demonstrates the different priorities between graffiti and the Melbourne muralists of the 1980s. Clearly there differences in aesthetics, perspective, subject, politics and the work’s place in history between the muralists and graffiti writers. It would be good to examine these differences but that would mean going over the history of Mexican muralists, Union banners and I don’t have the time to go into all of that right now.

Expectations of progress on the part of the mural artists have not been fulfilled by the last 30 years of history, consider domestic violence or the gender pay gap. On the other hand graffiti writers, like Nost expect their fame to be instant and temporary rather than historical. The fresh novelty in graffiti and street art demands that the viewers, to some extent, forget the past. Popular culture, from television series to popular politics, assumes an ephemeral state of memory.


About Mark Holsworth

Writer, independent researcher and artist, Mark Holsworth is the author of the book Sculptures of Melbourne. View all posts by Mark Holsworth

6 responses to “Nost Thoughts

  • ChelseaKunhardt

    Great read, writing and content

  • thefitzroyflasher

    Hi Mark, long time no speak lol. My point was not that it should have been capped for those reasons, just that it is not something I liked as a visual item. That is, I thought it was ugly. But I fully admit that to just be my taste, and I am more arguing why come out of the woodwork with your outrage now when noone gave a crap for 30 years. People like Precious Little have subsequently had a go at me for my remarks and I fully take their perspective on board. I think my biggest beef now though is the use feminist language about NOST ‘whitewashing’ – so misplaced. I would thoroughly recommend anyone interested having a read of All Those Shapes article for probably a more fair and thorough explanation of my point of view. Also the acclaim magazine article. They are great. Cheers

    • Mark Holsworth

      Hi, Yes!
      I’m not outraged, I’m not even surprised.
      I wanted to show the difference between your taste/aesthetics (I think that it is more than just taste) and that of the muralists. The different aesthetics results in a difference of language and what discourse is focused on (prominent location or feminist celebration).
      I hope that I expressed my doubts about the long term success of the muralists aesthetics. Certainly they have not produced many followers and you are right that nobody has showed any interest in the mural in decades.
      Cheers, Mark

  • Megan Evans and murals in Northcote | Black Mark

    […] Mural: Bomboniere to Barbed Wire on the wall Gas & Fuel Office on Smith Street, Fitzroy. Capped by the notorious graffiti writer Nost in 2016, the wall was demolished in 2019. The mural can still be viewed as a digital version online. […]

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