Melbourne has an incredible street art scene that I was eager to explore when I arrived in the city. Follow along on my adventure to discover it all!
I knew before I arrived in Australia that Melbourne was world-renowned for street art. More than just graffiti, the city actually approves permits for the art with the permission of the building owners. The city recognizes that the art contributes to a vibrant urban culture and is an attraction for visitors from all over the world. A couple of my roommates from my hostel and I decided to take a trip into the CBD (Central Business District, what they call the downtown) to find some of the famously painted streets.
The thing about Melbourne’s street art is you might not even see it unless you are looking for it. While there is some art in visible places, most of the significant pieces are tucked down the alleys of the city, called laneways. When we looked up where the street art was located, we realized it was in the exact area we had wandered around the day previous. We had walked around the whole time and didn’t even know we were surrounded by these amazing works of art! You just have to step off the beaten path.
The amazing and wonderful thing about Melbourne’s street art is that it’s not permanent and can change on a daily basis. You could walk through the laneways one week and the next it could be covered with something completely different. What I also found interesting was that it’s not all just spray paint. There are paper drawings on the walls called paste-ups, and more physical art like ceramic or cement.
Our tour ended at Hosier Lane, probably the most well-known laneway in the city. It’s enormous, and filled with really incredible works of art. Seemingly every inch of wall space has been covered by layers of spray paint. Throughout the whole afternoon, we had been hoping to run into someone doing some live painting, and our wish was finally granted when we got to Hosier Lane. At the top of the street an artist was working on an enormous painting, and it was amazing to watch his technique and concentration as he painted.