Civilian (street artist)

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Tom Civil
Occupation street artist
Years active About late 2001 - present

Civilian is the nom de plume of Tom Civil a street artist, operating out of Melbourne, Australia, who has been profiled as a "leading player" of "the city's vibrant stencil art scene".[1]


Civilian started painting stencils around the end of 2001.[2]

In the documentary film Rash (2005), Civil spoke of his approach to street stenciling..."It's something I'll plan and kind of go on a mission by myself and kind of do as much as I can when I feel like it. It's not necessarily so much to do with the mood or whatever. It's more when the times right".[3]

He has had several art works exhibited in gallery shows, but says he is not entirely comfortable in those settings; preferring to do work in "Empty Shows" – illegal exhibitions held in derelict buildings. In 2003, police caught Civilian at the Canterbury "Empty Show". No criminal charges were laid by police.[1] Civilian feels that "street art is an important and necessary part of society".

Despite Civilian's past discomfort with gallery settings, the National Gallery of Australia has acknowledged Civilian's contribution to the Australian Urban Art Movement. In 2010, his work was included in "Space Invaders", an exhibition of Australian street artists which opened October 2010 and was to travel nationally over the next two years.[4][5][6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Coslovich, Gabriella (4 December 2005). "Our Colourful Underbelly". The Age. Retrieved 8 August 2013. 
  2. ^ "Stencil Graffiti Capital: Melbourne". Smallman, J. & Nyman, C.; Mark Batty Publishing. 2005. Retrieved 8 August 2013. 
  3. ^ Rash (2005) – feature-length documentary film about Melbourne street art and graffiti. Official website.
  4. ^ [1]. National Gallery of Australia.
  5. ^ [2]. National Gallery of Australia.
  6. ^ [3]. Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Further reading[edit]

  • Smallman, Jake; Nyman, Carl (2005). Stencil Graffiti Capital – Melbourne. West New York, New Jersey: Mark Batty Publisher. ISBN 978-0-976-22453-2. 
  • Stencil Art, In: The Deep End, ABC Radio National. Sian Prior and Donna Mclachlan. 14 December 2005. (Co-interviewed with author Jake Smallman).