Tagging in Canterbury: Art or Vandalism?

Unified looks tagging in Canterbury – while some see it as vandalism, others call it a form of self expression. What do you think?

So, what is Tagging?

It’s considered the most basic form of graffiti, consisting of a personalised word or meaning to a group or person.  It usually includes the tagger’s name or nickname also known as a ‘moniker’.

A tag is usually done in one colour, with a marker or aerosol which contrasts to its background.

Why do people do it?

Canterbury City Councillor, Nick Eden-Green, explains that tagging is unfathomable and something that destroys the community.

He said,  “I don’t know why people do it, and I’m afraid it’s expensive to get rid of. It destroys the place that people love. It’s something we really do need to get on top of.”

Contrastingly, gallerist David Lilford doesn’t think it’s a problem.

 “Tagging is just territorial p*****g really.

“It’s just gangs saying this is our area.  It’s pretty boring really. If you go to any European city like Berlin, Stuttgart or Prague, the buildings are absolutely covered in tagging graffiti,” he declared.

The urban art dealer further added, “It’s quite unnerving and ugly in someways. We really don’t suffer at all here in the grand scheme of things, we’ve got very little in the area.”

But graffiti artist and tagger, who goes under name of OW1, says,”It’s quite interesting when you do see the same tag in different places, it’s like that person’s saying  ‘this is who I am, these streets made me who I am’.”

Graffiti artist – OW1, Leake St, London

‘It destroys the place that people love’

Tagging is just as prevalent as it was back in the 60s.

It’s something that is recognisable in cities all around the world.

PICTURES: Take a look below at a series of just one tag, ‘newt’, in Canterbury.

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Below is a map of 20 ‘newt’ tags in Canterbury taken over a series of months.

There are even YouTube tutorials on how to tag:


What do you think? Is tagging art or vandalism?

2 thoughts on “Tagging in Canterbury: Art or Vandalism?

  • 06/02/2019 at 7:22 pm

    So what is this journalist trying to achieve? What was the message of this article? It certainly wasn’t written with much purpose or flow

    Big up NEWT gang gang alladat <3 SOEK

  • 06/02/2019 at 7:25 pm

    Contrastingly, gallerist David Lilford doesn’t think it’s a problem.

    “Tagging is just territorial p*****g really.

    That wasn’t a contrast to the last point mate

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