Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

We Want Colour at Son's Funeral; GRAFFITI MAN WITH PASSION FOR ART LAID TO REST

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

We Want Colour at Son's Funeral; GRAFFITI MAN WITH PASSION FOR ART LAID TO REST

Article excerpt

Byline: By LISA HUTCHINSON

A GRAFFITI artist who turned his life around to do artwork in the community is believed to have taken his own life.

Steve Findlay was found dead at home in his garage on Mothering Sunday.

Today his family opened their hearts to tell of a young man who was passionate about his art, a kind and caring person and above all - a son they loved.

From the age of 14 Steve found he had a raw talent for street art. He loved it and thrived on the thrill of his work being where people could see it.

But it was his craving for graffiti that landed him in trouble with the police and locked up in jail after he was handed an 18-month sentence for causing criminal damage.

He, along with a group of friends, were accused of causing pounds 180,000 of damage with spray-paint daubing the Metro system with their work.

He held his hands up to police and admitted his crime and joined murderers and muggers in Durham Prison as he served his time.

And after he was caught Steve was even asked by Nexus - the company that said he had defaced their property - to spray paint a part of the Metro system in an organised art project.

Once back on the outside after his stint in prison his friends and family stuck by him and encouraged him to keep his graffiti legal.

However, last Sunday, at the age of 22, it is believed he hanged himself.

"He was torn. The people who he loved were asking him to stop, but he was so passionate about his graffiti. He was hurting the people he loved by doing it but he was hurting himself on the inside if he didn't," said brother Stu, 20.

His dad George, 54, said: "This is the way Steve expressed his emotion and creativity.

He didn't have the confidence or communication skills to do them any other way.

We never agreed with his graffiti but this is how he expressed himself. …

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