Art & Design


Top Six Street Art Spots in Melbourne

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Melbourne has one of the world’s best street art scenes, its urban art roots go back to the 1980s. Image-based street art has transformed Melbourne’s streets and laneways into an outdoor gallery. Pretty much all inner-city suburbs have incredible street art and deserve an honourable mention; however, the following places are saturated in wonderful and transient art in a constantly evolving landscape, and can hold their own against anywhere in the world.


Sister-suburbs Fitzroy and Collingwood rule the Melbourne street art scene. Murals, paste-ups, stencils and graffiti are pretty much in every single street. If you stick to Johnston, Brunswick, Smith and Wellington Streets there’s no avoiding them. And why would you want to? The murals here by local and international artists are simply breathtaking. And there are lots of stunning collaborations, such as the dreamy girl wrapped in a snake mural by Lucy Lucy and Ola Volo. This place takes its street art seriously. The wonderful 1984 mural by American street art pioneer Keith Haring still stands and is even listed on the Victorian Heritage Register.

Photo caption: The mammoth Dissection of a Kangaroo by international street artist Nychos in Collingwood

Melbourne City

The spray paint drenched Hosier Lane is arguably the city’s biggest tourist attraction and definitely worth a look, if you can handle the masses. Its popularity means there’s always something new and interesting on the walls. Just remember to look up! There’s a stunning mural of an Indigenous boy overlooking the laneway from up high by portrait artist Adnate. But there are plenty of other places in the city that have stunning pieces too, such as Croft Place, Duckboard Place and Tattersalls, Blender and Beaney Lanes, and better yet you don’t have to elbow people out of the way in order to get a good look.


Photo caption: An amazing Adnate mural just off Tattersalls Lane


There is so much colour in Prahran and Windsor. Walk along Chapel Street and meander down the side streets, you’ll see something a little while off and then stumble across a piece even more amazing on your way to it. Guido Van Helton’s gigantic photorealistic mural of a woman dancing on the Melbourne Polytechnic building soars over the streets. The overflowing Artists Lane has graffiti and street art fighting for space. And Stormie Mills’ weird little creatures pop up unexpectedly. The bright colours and beautiful characters in a new mural collaboration by Elle and Vexta is not only dazzling, it’s also a prime example of the rise of women on the street art scene.


Photo caption: Detail of a beautiful collab between Elle and Vexta in Windsor

Brunswick/Brunswick East

Brunswick and Brunswick East are quite literally bursting with brilliant street art, even the back of the Club X on Sydney Road has a stunning mural on it. A walk down Sunshine Lane rivals any street art space in the world, Dean Sunshine has allowed the network of laneways behind his textile warehouse to be completely covered by artists such as Mike Eleven, Kaff-eine and Deams. This is where Makatron’s infamous Kama Sutra Burger lives. The mix of old and new in Brunswick is reflected in its art, with stunning pieces on crumbling warehouses complementing huge murals on brand-spanking new apartment blocks.


Photo caption: The second half of a beautiful mural series by Jason Parker in Brunswick East


You barely have to step out of Footscray train station before seeing some unbelievable street art, including an ethereal Guido Van Helton mural of a young woman, right on the edge of the carpark. How he makes spray paint on old bricks look like charcoal on paper is a wonder. Footscray is the hometown of Baby Guerilla and while you can find her ghostly black and white paste-ups all around Melbourne, they are absolutely everywhere in Footscray, including two epic pieces at Victoria University. A visit to the mighty West isn’t complete without checking out the colourful Icons of Footscray mural by artists including Heesco, Dukey Grimo and Conrad Bizjak, featuring the enigmatic Franco Cozzo.


Photo caption: A wonderful paste-up in Footscray by Baby Guerilla


Powerhouse Geelong, a once-abandoned power station, is now Australia’s largest outdoor legal street art space featuring work by hundreds of international and local artists such as Adnate, The Meataxe, Sarah Mason and many, many more. The 3000sqm, 6-storey building is covered with paint and paste-ups and littered with discarded industrial furniture. Currently closed for renovations it’s still worth visiting for the outside walls alone, although you bumping into the owners could get you inside. Among many huge pieces is an angelic Rone mural partly on broken windows, beautiful and vulnerable. In most cases artists must repaint their wall monthly or risk losing it, ensuring the space is constantly evolving.


Photo caption: Rone’s incredible mural on the Powerhouse Geelong building



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