After 15 hours of traveling, I finally made it to Melbourne! Luckily, I knocked out for the 12 hour flight from Los Angeles to New Zealand, and I spent the three hours between New Zealand and Melbourne catching up on my favorite shows. Side note — New Zealand looks beautiful, even outside of the airport window, and I hope to visit in the future.
The Melbourne airport was incredible — when I arrived, I was greeted with two walls painted with paper planes that led to a sign: “Welcome to Melbourne.”
I feel like Melbourne is a city of art — most of the street shops I’ve encountered feel more home-made than like a franchise. Melbourne even supports local artists on their regional maps through commissioned artwork. Here’s my collection of maps by Emma Leonard:
After moving in to my new home, I walked around North Melbourne. Without intending to, I stumbled across a few great street art pieces in the alleyways. Here was one great piece:
The Asian-inspired art style reminded me of a piece I saw in Toronto:
In the next few weeks, I have a lot to plan. Tomorrow, I want to go into the city and check out Hosier and Rutledge Lane across from Federation Square. My hosts gave me a Myki Card (centralized public transportation card in Australia), so I’ll also try to figure out how to use the trams (They’re above ground and outdoors, which is quite cool compared to the NYC subway station. Sometimes, walking under the tram wires makes it seem like you’re inside a giant web).
List of places where I want to visit and photograph street art:
- Caledonian Lane (off Little Bourke Street)
- ACDC Lane and Duckboard Place
- Brunswick and East Brunswick
- Carlton and Carlton North (specifically122 Palmerston Street)
- Fitzroy and Fitzroy North
- Melbourne City Centre
- Northcote and Westgarth
- South Yarra/Yarra Place
- St Kilda
- Union Lane (off Bourke Street mall)
- Rear of 280 Queen Street in Finlay Avenue
- 21 Degraves Street
- Cnr Flinders Lane and Cocker Alley
- Centre Place, between Collins Street and Flinders Lane
- Artists Lane in Windsor
List of resources:
- Melbourne Street Tours
- Melbourne Street Art (Facebook)
- Street Art in Melbourne
- Global Street Art
- Street Art Utopia
- Street Art With Google
- Blender Studios
- Then and Now: the evolving story of Melbourne’s street art (The Guardian)
- Street Art, Public City (Alison Young)
- Melbourne Art Critic
List of angles I want to investigate:
- Policy comparison between NYC vs. Melbourne: How successful has council and government backing of street art been? Does it change the nature of the art? (explore permits, cultural tourist attraction, “the only way many street artists get to do legal work, is first get a name doing illegal work,” PROBLEMS, RIVALRIES, vandalism, see Glascow maps)
- Social circles + hierarchy within the street art system (banksy = corporate entity?)
- Female street artists: see sexism + stereotypical representations of femininity
- a brief list: bali portman, baby guerillla, debs, miso, vexta, kaff-eine, lucy lucy, boo, kiara, urban cake lady
- Intersection of business and economics (commercialized street art? commission? coffeeshops + bars? income streams? film promotion?)
- Tourism: see Lisbon
- Anonymity & Tagging
- Gallery systems: Does street art belong on gallery walls? Should it be sold? What happens when a radical art form gets institutionalized?
- Street art and city identity: see Richard Florida’s urban theory -> attracting knowledge workers to cities by encouraging creativity + “vibe” for designers and younger generation -> what happens when city brands itself in relation to street art?
- Community: paintspotters + art collectors + bloggers + photographers
- Copyright: see example of women selling postcards of street art; American Eagle graffiti lawsuit
- Themes and styles: see Bushwick Avenue & bodily excretions; transition from graffiti to mural style; Melbourne art = hallucinogenic dreamlike and imaginative
- Lack of permanence: most street art is meant to be temporary and fleeting
- Choice of location: urban dead spots vs. direct public eye
- Political dimension: see Greece protests, Brazil, ELK, Argentina, Rome (hieroglyphics?)
- Opposition against street art: see Locals Against Graffitis and Gangs
- Personal stories + other jobs (ex. phoenix = psychologist -> reflects in his work)
- Public space, security and surveillance, technology and digital culture, aesthetics and commodification: see Graffiti Studies
- Human interaction with street art: 5pointz, living characters
- Other forms of public art: sculpture, chalk, stickers, animated GIFs, reverse graffiti, etc.
P.S. The girls I’m living with are so cute!
They are half Cambodian, half Australian.