Glance right as you walk into The Butcher Shop in Northbridge, and you won’t see any meat. Instead, there’s a wall like a Pantone colour chart, stacked with aerosol cans in 500 different shades. The store is a haven for graffiti artists and creatives, but it doesn’t stop at paint.

Herschel backpacks hang on the walls, street caps cover all surfaces and block-colour cotton pants sit in neat piles near the racks of men’s hoodies, windcheaters and jackets.

Zines are scattered about: locally produced King Brown is popular, along with Klebstoff, an artist-run mini-mag from Germany with pages of usable stickers designed by artists around the world. There’s even a handy how-to guide called Graffiti School by artist, Jeroo.

Owner Aimee Johns has loved graffiti since she was a kid. She remembers the first time she saw a huge mural by pioneering local artists in the 1980s. She started The Butcher Shop in 2005 when she was just 22 (yes, it was once a butchery).

As it has grown into three stores, so has her admiration for the skill and culture of graffiti. She loves how it has developed differently to other art genres while maintaining its synergy with public spaces. Her connection to that world has her organising public artworks and holding regular exhibitions.

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Updated: September 20th, 2017

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