Scott Marsh was interrupted by police before he could finish the work. (Facebook: Scott Marsh)
A graffiti artist says he is being politically censored after police stopped him painting a mural he had permission to do, about the Queensland Premier failing the reef.
Artist Scott Marsh said the mural, in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley, is a take-off of the satirical publication Betoota Advocate claiming Annastacia Palaszczuk cares little about the coral bleaching on the reef and attacks her support for coal mining in the state.
He said he had received permission from the operators of the bar in the building the mural is painted on.
But he was interrupted by police before he could finish the work.
“Two officers came down and told me I had to stop otherwise I was going to be arrested for trespass,” he said.
“I was finishing off the image of Annastacia Palaszczuk and I got it to a point luckily that you can kind of tell it is her.
“I think it’s kind of strange that within hours of her face going on the wall the cops are down here kind of shutting me down.”
In a decade of being a graffiti artist, Marsh said he had never been stopped and believes it was linked to the political nature of the work.
“I think graffiti is the last kind of true place where you can kind of voice free speech,” he said.
“We are supposed to live in a democracy and have free speech, but yet I can’t paint a wall in Brisbane without being interviewed by police, twice I think over the course of two hours.”
Marsh said he was happy with the public’s response.
“Everyone loves it,” he said.
“They either know that it is satirical and kind of have a real good laugh about, it or they fall for it and get super angry so I guess that’s the wanted response.
“I’m not a policy maker but it’s important for me to keep these conversations alive.”
The Premier said she was happy to facilitate other works elsewhere.
“As Arts Minister, I’d be happy to find something for them to do in my electorate of Inala,” she said.
Marsh said: “If she wants to find me a wall in Inala, I’m happy to come paint something down there.”
Police said they did not receive any complaint about the matter, or are taking it further.
“Inquiries by police ascertained that the man had permission from the business owner to paint the wall,” they said.
It is not the first time a mural of Marsh’s has caused controversy.
His painting of former NSW premier Mike Baird, named Casino Mike, was removed from the Sydney streets last year.
The mural of Kayne West kissing Kanye West in the Sydney suburb of Chippendale was also painted over.