Hiding On God ... graffiti 1979-2000



Downtown underpass on Osborne Street bridge, Winnipeg Mb


“if graffiti changed anything, it would be illegal” – banksy


I began to photograph graffiti in 1979. Many of the posts referred to the music of the time; The Clash, Jam, Gang of Four, Madness and locally, Popular Mechanix, Dub Rifles, The Nostrils. The other posts range through profane, revolutionary, political, poetic, romantic, prophetic to what the Jam described as “Jesus Christ written by some atheist nutter”. They are all here.

Notes …  Clicking on an image will give you a full screen view. Comment section comments may not be posted immediately but are appreciated, do not panic. Contact and subscription information is at the bottom of the home page.



An Army Without Culture




Anarchy Doesnt Rule

Anarchy Now

Ben Johnson – Number 1

Bob Lives

Boot Boys

Break it and see

Celtic Rangers Didn’t

Chaos Lurks

Chelsea Jam


Dance to the Tension of a World on the Edge

Do Not Enter


Dub Rifles

Dump the Tories



Fight War Not Wars

For G …

Free Trade Sucks

Fun To Be Dumb

Gang of Four

Genuine Auto Upholstery – Leave Message for George Royal Albert Desk

Give Me Head Til Im Dead

I won’t stay at any hotel that would have me as a guest. Hank Snow

Heart of the City – Lizards Rule

Hiding on God

Ice Box City Welcomes Nash the Slash

Ignorance is Not Bliss – Meat is Murder

II Corinthians

Jim Hodge

Kal I Love You

Kill the Hippies

Le Kille Sucks

Liquid Lunch

Lloyd Linda

Look At Them

Madness 1 Step Beyond

Make No Mystique

Meeting the Demands of Society is No Excuse

Moods for Moderns


Mon Coeur est Libre

Mother Mary Protect Us

My Girl Is Red Hot

No No I Dont Think So

Overpower the Devil

PC equals Nazi

Tag and Pictograffiti





Police Use Karen Valentine As Decoy

Pray Without Ceasing

Qui Veut

Razor Blade Alley

Reagans War

Resist the coming of the corporate state

Rita Is Dead

Save the Planet Kill Yourself

Set Me Free

Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun

Shake Some Action

Sham 69

Skate Punks

Striped With Orange and Red

Suck Me Off




The Bristol Hoppers – Trendy

The Crowd is Mod

The Motorcycle Boy Reigns

The Nostrils

The Worst Lives

There Back – Hell Rats

This Could Be Heaven

This is Religion

Turn to the Power of Gods Word

UK Subs

USA is Babylon and Babylon must fall

Waste Not

Wpg Hel

You Cant Stop the Vacant Lot


15 Responses

  1. Great exhibit, Robert. The graffiti seemed more about the message and less about the art back then. Tags seem to be less prevalent as well.

  2. You are very talented rob. And a wonderful preservationist of time. I definitely appreciate all of your photos.

  3. Great photos Rob! This show really reflects the politics and culture of that time. A big stroll down memory lane.

  4. Delightful great collection. I revisited a lot of spaces and appreciated how a wall can deliver a message.

    1. Thank you Cathy … “Graffiti is one of the few tools you have if you have almost nothing. And even if you don’t come up with a picture to cure world poverty you can make someone smile while they’re having a piss.”
      ― Banksy

  5. What a wonderful collection, Rob. Those were halcyon days, wondering around the downtown during my lunch hours, doing my walk commute to/from The Electric Railway Chambers with a couple of OM-1s on my shoulder. I have photos of “Hiding on God,” “Pray without Ceasing” and “Revelations 12:11” (plus others) as well. And it’s eery to recognize that “Meeting the Demands of Society is No Excuse” is on the back Ken Hong’s Restaurant.

    1. Thank you Gord… Did you photograph Hiding On God in colour… It was red on red as I recall. I’ve always regretted not getting back to do a colour version.

      1. It was indeed red on red, right off the street on the parking lot side of the St. Charles Hotel as you know. I know that I photographed Hiding on God a number of times in order to get lighting that would give me the greatest differentiation between the spray paint and the wall. I believe I shot it in colour at some point. My colour files (it would have been shot on Kodachrome) are not as well organized as my B&W, but after the mammoth cull of my colour files this winter perhaps I’ll be able to determine if I have a colour version without too much effort.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Newsletter Sign-Up

Sign-up to receive notifications for my photo exhibits and my “On the Day” blog. You will receive no spam and you can unsubscribe at any time.