While Sydney has some good Street Art, Melbourne’s is of a higher quality and it is far more commonplace, extending from the centre of the city out into the suburbs.
I had 2 hours spare recently during a business trip to Victoria, which I spent taking photos of some of Melbourne’s famous Street Art in the centre of the city following part of this suggested walking route.
Ideally I would have spent at least a whole weekend exploring Melbourne’s laneways for Street Art and optimally perhaps 4-5 days including sojourns to the suburbs such as Collingwood & Fitzroy.
It is interesting to note that good quality street art can attract a lot of tourists from other areas of Australia as well as overseas. While I was walking around taking photos I met lots of people who were visiting Melbourne for holidays and viewing street art was high on their list of priorities.
In 2010, Melbourne-based artist Haha (Regan Tamanui), one of Australia’s most prolific stencil practitioners, told blogger and Melbourne academic Alison Young that artists who work on the street are the “bush rangers of the 21st century”; a comparison National Gallery of Australia curator Jaklyn Babington says reflects the rebellious spirit that has been at the centre of Australia’s street art scene.
Australia’s contemporary street art movement has its roots in a small group of politically motivated graffiti writers working in the late 1970s. Hardcore writers dominated the early scene but by the ‘90s Babington argues that they were surpassed by artists working with stencils, posters, paste-ups stickers, street intervention pieces, installations. In last decade street art has morphed yet again from the ephemeral to the collectable and from a subculture to mainstream tourist attraction and symbol of urban gentrification.
If rebelliousness was once at the heart of the street art movement, is it still? Do recent market successes and the rise of street art tourism run counter to its roots?
– ABC Arts
“Do art not tags” is the name of a graffiti education presentation being offered to Year 5 and Year 8 students in schools within the City of Melbourne. Graffiti is the marking of another person’s property without permission. Graffiti can include tags, stencils, pieces and even colourful murals which have been done without the permission of the person who owns the wall and without permission from the local council. Graffiti is illegal everywhere in Australia, including within the City of Melbourne.
Street art is artistic work done with the permission of the person who owns the wall that the work is being done on, and with the permission of the local council. With the proper permission, street art is legal in the City of Melbourne. Council has a Street art permit process which enables property owners and tenants to get permission to let street artists paint on their walls.
These are some of the photos I took below or you can view the whole gallery as a slideshow below.