Graffiti opportunity for board artist

Published:  06 December, 2010

UK: While most manufacturers would be appalled to see their products plastered with hip-hop graffiti, Norbord was delighted when Macclesfield graffiti artist TJ Dolan sprayed his tag on six sheets of the company’s 9mm Caberwood MDF last summer.

But this was no random act of vandalism. The MDF panels were donated by distributor Travis Perkins, to provide a ‘graffiti walls’ as part of Macclesfield’s Barnaby Festival, a celebration of arts, culture and fun and a revival of a tradition that dates back to the 13th Century.

TJ Dolan, an up and coming street artist, has decorated several buildings in Europe and has worked with dozens of schools and youth centres throughout Great Britain.

On the last day of Macclesfield’s Barnaby Festival, he gave a live demonstration of his skills in the Cheshire town’s Market Place, transforming the Caberwood wall into a vibrant colourful mural in just six hours. The mural was sold to an anonymous buyer after the festival ended.

Although not actually designed for graffiti application, Caberwood, Norbord’s flagship MDF product, was the ideal material for this project, its smooth, slightly porous surface providing the ideal substrate for spray-painting. An emulsion base coat was applied to the boards and spraying could commence!

Being flexible and lightweight, 9mm Caberwood was also easy to assemble into a suitable wall. Gavin Wainwright, manager of the Macclesfield branch of Travis Perkins which supplied the material, said: “It’s certainly an unusual application, although funnily enough it’s not the only event our branch has sponsored this year – we also provided some timber to the local Brownies for one of their events this year.”

Lynne Jones, chair of the Macclesfield Barnaby Festival, says: “We relied heavily on the goodwill of local businesses and were delighted that Travis Perkins agreed to donate the Norbord MDF. The Graffiti Wall was really popular and drew a lot of interest” she adds.

The Festival – named after St Barnabas whose feast day is 11th June – has taken place in various formats since the Middle Ages but virtually died out during the latter part of the 20th Century. This year’s event was the first for several decades and was, according to Lynne Jones, “a resounding success. It’s definitely taking place again next year”.

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