Friday, 25 October 2013

City and Colour - A Look at Melbourne Street Art

I recently returned home (Canada) from being abroad for the past year (New Zealand/Australia). Before moving to Australia, I knew that Melbourne or somewhere close to it was where I wanted to settle for a bit. Mainly because it is a place with a unique culture and a strong presence of arts, theatre and music. I arrived in St. Kilda, a suburb of Melbourne in November 2012 and immediately felt comfortable and a little at home. 
Side of Iddy Biddy Bar off Acland Street
Off Carlisle St. Balaclava

Off St. Kilda Road

Alleyway off Acland Street, St. Kilda
One aspect of Melbourne that attracted me was the appreciation and accessibility of arts and culture. Melbourne is known as one of the greatest street art capitals of the world. The first time I went into the city to explore I could spot a wall with vibrant colours sticking out and saw an amazing portrait of the Joker. I soon discovered that this was Hosier Lane. Over the years, Rutledge and Hosier Lanes have become a popular tourist attraction with hundreds of people visiting daily. However, there are different opinions on the artistic quality and reputation of the spot. 

While wandering along the busy streets you never know what you're going to see, but I do know you're going to want to remember it. The laneways have people taking pictures and doing all kinds of photo shoots every day. For those who like change, within weeks it's out with the old and in with new on these walls. 

You could easily spend a day exploring all of the alleys and laneways that offer a variety of pieces and the best part is, it’s free. 

For a self-guided walking tour visit here.

Artists outside of Blender Studios

The iconic walls truly add colour to the city and the range of street art will never disappoint. You will be amazed with the work of the artists when you take the time to notice the little details and really focus on a wall. 
Most of these pieces are done on walls where artists have permission. Basically anyone, at any time can paint. But if your smart, you will make sure you have some artistic talent before attempting to burn someone else. 
Blender's Laneway

If you really don’t want to miss anything and would also like to hear what an actual street artist has to say about it all, you can go on a Melbourne Street Art guided tour. The gallery that runs the tours called Blender Studios, also often hosts many different shows. I had the chance to check out one of the shows called 'I fucking <3 Melbourne' by Will Coles. Check out his unique perspective on street art and consumerism. Follow on instagram: mrwillcoles

Keep your eyes open and go explore! If you're lucky, maybe even spot some artists in action.
Even if you're not in Aussieland, explore a city near you...