It’s likely that if you’ve ever been to Melbourne and embarked on a quest for the perfect latte around the CBD and inner city area, you’ve stumbled across many of the city’s renowned street-art decorated laneways.
Melbourne embraced stencil art with gusto early on, leading to the first stencil festival in the world in 2004. Although government opinion on the legitimacy of street art has been divided for years, a number of the lane way walls around the CBD have become sanctioned public platforms to express the political, the personal, the humorous,s or just something beautiful through stencils, murals, or paste-ups. In some cases, the local council has even taken steps to preserve notable pieces.
Today, places like Hosier Lane and Degraves Street have become a mecca for street-art fans and snap happy instagrammers worldwide, and have elevated the city to one of the world’s top street art capitals. One Australian broadcaster and festival director went so far as to declare Melbourne’s street-art the “biggest tourist attractions and one of its most significant cultural movements since the Heidelberg School.” Of course, it’s not just tourists who are drawn to the colourful streets. The walls wouldn’t exist without the artists who have contributed to them over the years, including renowned international street artists such as Banksy, Shepard Fairey, ABOVE, Blek le Rat and Invader.
I’ve been returning year after year to document the ever-changing artworks, and to recapture my misspent youth. Below is a collection of some of my favourite pieces over the years.
Head to some of these locations to see some of Melbourne’s coolest street-art:
* Hosier and Rutledge Lane, opposite Federation Square
* Caledonian Lane, off Little Bourke Street
* Union Lane, off Bourke Street Mall
* Rear of 280 Queen Street in Finlay Avenue
* 21 Degraves Street (plenty of great cafes on this street too)
* Corner Flinders Lane and Cocker Alley
* 122 Palmerston Street, Carlton
* Centre Place, between Collins Street and Flinders Lane
* ACDC Lane (yes, there is such a place), Flinders Lane between Exhibition Street and Russell Street
* Croft Alley (home of iconic bar, The Croft Institute), off Little Bourke Street, Chinatown
* Johnston Steet, Collingwood (for the recently restored 1984 Keith Haring mural)
© Diana d’Arenberg and post-ism, 2014.