Traffic signal boxes become canvases for local artists

DRIVING around the streets has become an artistic experience with 20 traffic signal boxes in the Woonona, Corrimal, Wollongong and Dapto areas painted by local creatives.

The painting project was funded by Wollongong City Council as part of a graffiti prevention management strategy. The program has been very successful in minimising graffiti on plain signal boxes which are owned by TfNSW and are often a target for graffiti in the Wollongong area.

Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said that the project was positive and allowed engagement with a range of artists and community groups in difficult times.

“Many of those participating in the project have come back to us and said painting the boxes was a rewarding experience for them, and that they received encouragement from community members walking by, along with many thumbs up from drivers stopped at lights, which I think shows support for the project and a real spirit of community,’’ he said.

“The art works help beautify our city and reduce unsightly graffiti, while also helping our communities take ownership of the spaces they live in. The project has also provided creatives and community groups with access to a small financial payment for their work in this difficult time”

The popular collaboration with TfNSW has been running periodically over several decades and has proven popular with artists and local residents. More than 60 expressions of interest were received to paint traffic signal boxes, from which 20 were able to be accepted with the allocated funding. The artists were supplied with all the materials and paints and paid for their work.

Do you have a favourite traffic signal box in your neighbourhood? Let us know.


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About Mick Roberts

A journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of Australian pubs and associated industries for over 30 years. He is working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick managed several community newspapers. He has been editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), the Sydney city newspaper, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW.


One thought on “Traffic signal boxes become canvases for local artists

  1. Hi, I was one of the people who painted the light boxes- radiating dots and birds in Woonona- and it was the time given to people to listen and learn from them that I enjoyed. Their stories , concerns, insights and knowledge of the history of the place was much as rewarding experience for me. The painting became secondary , the people first. I drove past today and instantly recall those people and their values .
    I’m keen to know the design ideas behind the other boxes. Gabrielle


    Posted by Gab Quigley | August 25, 2020, 8:07 pm

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