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Street Art Melbourne takes Pride In Showing Off

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Street art Melbourne started out as an artist's critical statement, usually political, in the early days but over the past several decades the art has come to play an important part for Melbourne's tourist industry.

With city laneways and suburban streets now exhibiting some truly amazing artworks the gain in popularity has become quite a worldwide phenomenon.

Melbourne contains a diverse range of street art. The 1970's and 1980's saw graffiti sprawling over suburban buildings and along railway lines.

Today, any trip on any train through any suburb will prove to be a fun way to see just what our modern day street artists are all about. 

Melbourne is now known as the Stencil Capital of the World with stencil festivals held yearly throughout Australia.

The first festival was held in 2004 and many major street artists were featured. Famous street artists from all over the world have been and still are being featured on select buildings and walls in the greater Melbourne districts. Artists such as ...

  • Banksy (UK), who's works were featured in a street art Melbourne exhibition recently in 2017
  • ABOVE (USA)
  • Fafi (France)
  • D*FACE (UK)
  • Logan Hicks
  • Revok (USA)
  • Blek le Rat (France)
  • Shepard Fairey (USA)
  • Invader (France)

Since the early 2000's other forms of street art started to pop up including ...

In 2005 the documentary Rash explored the street art culture and some of Melbourne's more notorious graffiti and street artists. The film explores the value of unsanctioned public art and whether or not it contributes anything to society in what it portrays.


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A post shared by NayKing (@nayking_88) on


A post shared by NayKing (@nayking_88) on

Laneways To View Street Art In Melbourne

There are many street art Melbourne galleries within the city that now display works of up and coming street artists and several of the city's laneways have now turned into 'Legend Lanes'

  • AC/DC Lane - a short laneway that runs south from Flinders Lane between Exhibition and Russell Street
  • Hosier Lane - the street art and graffiti are ever changing, it lies opposite Federation Square's Atrium 
  • Howey Place - running south from Little Collins Street between Swanston Street and Elizabeth Street, known well for its guerilla art and graffiti
Street Art in Hosier Lane compliments of TigTab from Melbourne, Australia (Shepard Fairey in Hosier) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsStreet Art in Hosier Lane

Howey Place

Hosier Lane

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Walk the avenues and laneways exploring the exciting and always changing street art Melbourne provides or if you prefer to experience a professional guided tour you will receive an education as well as a wonderful insight into what street art is really all about.

Street Art In Melbourne's Back Streets

sample of Melbourne street artSample of the sort of street art you will find in Melbourne, Australia

Discover Melbourne’s creative side as you explore the city’s laneways and immerse yourself in its constantly evolving street art culture. 

From paste ups to tags, murals to stencils, you’ll find every kind of street art possible hidden down unassuming alleyways, tiny lanes and arcades so jam packed with bars and eateries you’ll wonder how there’s enough space! 

With a like-minded local, immerse yourself in the art and culture of The Lanes, stop to enjoy a coffee or a beer in one of trendiest, hole-in-the-wall bars in the city and maybe even stumble across an artist at work! 

Discover the most famous arcades which are known to be hubs of artistic expression, as well as ducking down some back streets where the work of up and coming street art is hidden, for local eyes only!


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Best Locations For Street Art Melbourne And Surrounds

  • Abbotsford
  • Brunswick and East Brunswick
  • Carlton and Carlton North
  • Collingwood
  • Fitzroy and Fitzroy North
  • Melbourne City Centre
  • Northcote and Westgarth
  • Prahran
  • Richmond
  • South Yarra
  • St Kilda

In 2006, the State Government "proudly sponsored" The Melbourne Design Guide, a book which celebrates street art Melbourne and graffiti from a design perspective.

The Melbourne Design Guide 2009/2010

Offering an insight to the inner workings of Melbourne's design community.

Full of hand-drawn maps and walking itineraries, the Guide is a direct connection to the pulse of this inspired city.

It will tell you all there is to know about architecture, fashion, art, graphics, objects and, of course, the stores, galleries, bars and restaurants Melbourne's creative community embraces and frequents.

The 2009/2010 edition, for the first time, features two parts.

The first part helps readers find and explore design-oriented destinations. The second part introduces the design talent that often works away behind closed doors.

There appears to be a constant battle with Councils, law enforcers and the artist as to whether Street Art is legal. There are hefty penalties for anyone found wandering the streets with spray cans. Some local councils have accepted street art and have even made efforts to preserve it.

The preservation of Street Art Melbourne from a heritage perspective is difficult as Melbourne City Council states "Protection of street art is not practical. The only exception may be especially commissioned works".

An example of a street art piece that has been added to the Victorian Heritage Register is the 1983 mural outside the Aborigines Advancement League building in Thornbury. The Aboriginal Mural is of State significance as a work of the artist Megan Evans in collaboration with members of the Victorian Aboriginal Community, which depicts Aboriginal history and culture


St Georges Road Aboriginal history mural 2

By Kazadams (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Social issues are a common thread with Street Art Melbourne, portrayed through words, paint, stencils and posters. For example this piece of street art portraying the homeless who often sleep on the street parks and benches throughout the city and its surrounding suburbs.


Homeless on bench stencil Melbourne

By Fernando de Sousa from Melbourne, Australia (15 melbourne street art) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0) or CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons


Your very own piece of 'Street Art'

Walking through the laneways and exploring the unique Melbourne Street Art culture is mind boggling. The colors, the talent and the visual overload is amazing. 

Check out how you can get your very own piece of Melbourne's unique street art to carry around with you as you explore more things to do in Melbourne. Some of this art is no longer displayed as it has been covered over - something that happens on a regular basis.

You have to be quick with your camera if you want to record your memories.

Examples Of Various Suburban Street Art

Collingwood

Fitzroy

Fitzroy

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Fitzroy

Fitzroy

Brunswick

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