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Graffiti on the streets of Melbourne: Pictures | History | Suburbs and Streets | City Laws
Graffiti on the streets and laneways of Melbourne make the city streets come alive. It is something that can be enjoyed whether you are an artist or not. The city of Melbourne has also accepted street art and deemed in legal in certain designated areas. Here's a brief overview of its history, rules and city laws and pictures of graffiti in Melbourne CBD, including a photo tour of Hoiser lane and Union lane.
History of graffiti in Melbourne
Street art first cropped up in Melbourne in the form of tagging and marking on the city's train and tams lines. It is generally considered that artists during the 80s took a lot of inspiration from graffiti in New York and pictures of street art in other countries. The tagging later evolved into full fledged street art after popular artists from around the world began to visit this art loving city to leave their mark.
Even today, besides the graffiti that is done in the form of street art, there is a lot of tagging going on in the suburbs. Tagging is now seen as an act of vandalism. Although this is not allowed, tagging and impromptu graffiti is prevalent in the suburbs, done mostly by the youth.
Suburbs and Streets
Some of the popular suburbs in Melbourne that are known for street art and graffiti are Melbourne CBD, St Kilda, Richmond, Collingwood, Fitzroy, Northcote, Brunswick and Carlton. No, this does not mean that street art in Melbourne is limited to these suburbs, but you are likely to stumble upon fantastic works of art in these suburbs than the others.
Top 3 suburbs for graffiti in Melbourne in order of preference are
- Melbourne CBD
- St Kilda
- Collingwood / Northcote
Walking through laneways in Melbourne CBD spotting graffiti
Walking by graffiti on the streets of Melbourne is something that should be done and experienced by every art loving soul on this planet because pictures just don't do justice to it. If you are new to Melbourne or are a tourist wanting to catch up on the graffiti scene, there's no need to panic because you really don't need to look too hard to spot outstanding street art. Here's a quick guide on how you can walk through the two most vibrant streets in Melbourne CBD.
- Make your way to Melbourne CBD by taking a tram or train towards the city from the suburb you are in
- Grab a hot coffee from the Starbucks at the corner of Swanston St and Collins St
- Get back on Flinders St and walk up to Hoiser Lane which is just before the intersection of Russell St and Flinders St
- This laneway is known for some fantastic works of art – Be prepared to spend at least an hour or two here if you are an avid photographer and want to spend time taking some killer shots that you will admire for life
- Once satisfied, make your way back to Swanston St and walk up to Bourke St then take a left towards Elizabeth St
- Halfway down the block is entrance to Union Lane, right opposite to Myers Melbourne – This laneway too is a gem of a gazing ground for graffiti lovers
Both the above laneways are an art lover's paradise. If you go on a sunny weekend, chances are that you may even spot a street artist making a work of art as you walk by and take pictures. You are free to sit down and spend the day watching the artist create a magical piece of street art. In these quaint laneways, you will also spot fellow art lover gazing at graffiti and discussing various elements, just like how movie critics get together and watch a movie. At the end of this article, maps have been provided which give you the location of Hoiser Lane and Union Lane.
There are other places on Flinders Lane, Swanston St, Russell St, Lonsdale St and other scattered laneways in and around Melbourne CBD that you can cover on foot or on tram.
City laws and rules regarding street art in Melbourne
The city of Melbourne has accepted street art and even takes pride in the throbbing tourism that it drives. In fact, the city council has even designated certain streets where street art is considered legal. Tagging and other forms of spray painting are considered illegal or acts of vandalism. Here are the highlights of graffiti and street art laws in Melbourne.
For budding artists
- You can seek permission from the city council if you want to develop a new street art
- You must also contact the property owner and get their approval
- Street art is regularly cleaned by city cleaners – If you think that your own or another artist's work should legally stay, contact the property owner and the city council to get the relevant permissions
Here are some of the pictures of Graffiti in Melbourne CBD that have been taken by Princesswithapen. You should note that artists are continuously working on new projects on these streets so you may not find the same graffiti when you visit again. The below pictures will give you a tour of Hoiser Lane and Union Lane in Melbourne CBD, two of the best hot spots for street art lovers.