Melbourne’s Street Art

Art comes in all different forms, shapes and sizes.  What one person thinks is beautiful or great another person thinks is awful, that is the beauty of art in itself. Over the years there have been different forms of art, some have been easily accepted by the public but other forms have been quite controversal.

Street art has been  one of those controversial forms and it has come along way since it was first being tagged on the walls of New York in the late 1970’s early 80’s.  Street art swept across the globe appealing to the youth’s  street subcultures. Melbourne’s inner suburbs, trains and tram lines were covered with, back then what was known as graffiti.

Melbourne though was the first to embrace street art, with an enclave of alleys and lanes, the city council set aside for street artists to spray. Hosier Lane is the cities most famous laneway for street art. The lane is wall to wall covered in art. Each day tourists and locals of the city come to see the artists at work spraying their visual creations.

girl by Veronique Robin
Photo taken by Robin Veronique

Dream photo by Brad Smith

squid photo by Michelle

Girl photo by Rob Masefield

Stencil artists needs the skills of a screen painter and the artistic flare of design. There is nobody better in the field of stencil art  than Banksy, an artist from the UK.

The lanes in Melbourne were lucky to have two pieces of his work, unfortunately one was destroyed due to vandals even though it was covered by a perspex screen to prevent it from being destroyed. Vandals poured silver paint over it, then tagged it with words “Banksy wos ere”. The other one was  when city cleaners accidentally destroyed it when they were removing tagging graffiti.

Street art though is still only tolerated in places which the council allocated and if caught in other alleys or with spray cans, the offenders will be issued a fine of over $20,000 or up to two years in prison.

Melbourne goes by a few names

The sports capital of Australia

The cafe capital of Australia

The most livable city in the world

The city can now add another title to its impressive list as the street art capital of the world.

Lanes found in Melbourne where street art can be seen.

Hosier Lane

Union Lane

Caledonian Lane

Rutledge Lane

The corner of Flinders Lane and Colter Alley

Centre place, between Collins Street and Flinders Lane

Have you seen the street art in Melbourne. We would love to hear what you thought of it.

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6 thoughts on “Melbourne’s Street Art

  1. I lived in the outskirts of Melbourne for 3 years and came back to Osaka 11 years ago. I never noticed it.
    Is this just from a couple of years ago? Anyway it’s a nice city and wanna go back, if I can.

    • KJ, the first stencil art festival was held in 2004 in Melbourne. Banksy painted his fist main piece on the walls in Melbourne in 2003. I couldn’t find when the city council made it legal to paint. I think the lane ways have become really popular over the last 5 or 6 years.

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