Street art of Melbourne

Melbourne Street ArtEach time I go to Melbourne, there is something new I am able to find there. The city has so much to offer, it seems I can never exhaust the list of things to do there. Standing on the bridge at Southbank, feeling lost on the St kilda pier, sitting at Federation Square watching one of the artists perform, walking around photographing beautiful things, entering the splendorous library, or zoning out in the amazing botanical gardens.

On this trip I decided to focus on something which had been criss-crossing my way during all the above things, but had not been a destination in itself so far. The amazing, astounding street art of Melbourne. I had seen glimpses of it around Flinders lane or union lane. Had even passed Hosier lane a few times, glancing from a distance but never having gone in.

I joined a Street art tour – there is one in the city which is organised by an artist studio. Our guide for the tour was a street artist himself; Michael; and it was delightful doing a tour with him because he knew a lot, took us to the right streets, kept pointing to different techniques. By the end of the tour, we were even able to identify a few artists (though I have already forgotten) with their style (Be Free, Ha Ha, Banksy).

Hosier LaneWe started in the Hosier Lane – which is the Melbourne street art free zone. It is like a practice canvas – people keep painting something new – sometimes the old gets erased, sometimes it becomes part of a new, and art keeps emerging. There are a few illustrious pieces which remain.

In Hosier lane, I noticed a strong connection between comic art and street art – a lot of the street art was presented as comic panels. The detail of facial features was mesmerising, considering that most of street painting is done using spray paints.

Cut-out street artI also realised that a good portion of the street art happens in a studio than in the

street. Cut-outs from paintings done in the studio, or even graphic art done on the computer, pasted on the streets are a common phenomenon. One popular art form is stencil, and some of the most illustrative works I found on this were Ned Kelly portraits from Ha-Ha, which were present in many locations.

Amongst the other streets we visited were ACDC lane, union street, blender’s lane (where we also visited an artists studio) and many small lanes which I don’t even remember. I do remember being happy about seeing 2-3 Banksy arts, particularly the mouse with a parachute. The work from Be Free was gorgeous and I wish there was  more of it.

At the end of this post is a jumble of some of my favourite pieces.

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