After building a strong profile for his street art across Sydney and the Blue Mountains, Stephen 'Sven' Rogers relocated to Bathurst with a bold mission to grow public art across the community.
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Sven also made a significant contribution to last year's Bathurst Winter Festival, where he created a large-scale graffiti installation that was captured in an illumination at Keystone 1889.
But prior to Bathurst, Sven had already generated plenty of buzz for his artistry.
"I was invited to take part in a festival called Walk the Walls in 2018, which was put together by Sutherland Shire Council in association with Tim De Haan [Phibs], who is probably Australia's most well-known street artist," Sven said.
"Walk the Walls ran in Caringbah in 2018 and Cronulla in 2019, and garnered national coverage. The work I produced in collaboration with a fellow artist was used as the backdrop for the main story on Channel Nine.
"The project transformed some rather grimy, underutilised walls and laneways in Caringbah and Cronulla into popular street art tours, and I was proud to contribute."
Sven said the success of Walk the Walls, as well as Katoomba's Living Lanes project, has inspired him to foster that same appreciation for public art in Bathurst.
"I know Bathurst was rated quite highly recently by a state tourism body as a destination venue, but there's no formal street art or walking tour visible to tourists," he said.
"The Mays Lane street art project in Sydney, which I've had some involvement in, was one of the first legal street art spaces to get going in NSW, and people often herald it, as well as multiple Melbourne CBD laneways, as prime tourist attractions.
"There's no reason why Bathurst can't incorporate street art into their tourism profile."
Sven has made Bathurst PCYC his main base of operations for street art, where he often invites local students to try their hand at the craft.
"My goal is to bring culture, colour, light and energy from the city to Bathurst," Sven said.
"The Macquarie Plaza mural was the first one I did after moving here, and it was an area that had been a prime target for graffiti vandals...it was an eyesore that was in dire need of a facelift.
"To me, it was a simple, inexpensive fix, so I added a piece of street art at the end of the plaza, with angel wings as the centrepiece, which has since become the centrepiece of a more inviting laneway, not to mention a prime spot for a vibrant social media post."
Sven said it's inspiring to see more local artists take it upon themselves to approach private property owners in town about commissioning street art.
"There's great value to be found in creating more spaces for public art, as it not only makes towns and cities more vibrant, but it gives young artists an opportunity to express themselves," he said.
"The PCYC avenue has given young people at risk of falling on the wrong side of the law an opportunity to express themselves through a legal art space."
"It is my hope the continued growth of street artists locally will further encourage Bathurst Regional Council to see the value of street art.
"In five years time, I'd like to see Bathurst have its own laneway walking tour abundant in street art."
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