Featured Writer: Kirsten Muolic
Bucket List Item #3: Get Lost in the Graffiti Laneways of Melbourne, Australia
Graffiti has such a negative connotation – unless, that is, you live in Melbourne where it is a widely accepted form of expression and one of the most popular and creative forms of art.
I spent almost a year living in Melbourne and one of my favorite activities was wandering through its graffiti laneways. Upon arriving, the graffiti art was merely a backdrop to the gorgeous city of artistic buildings and amazing culture that is Melbourne, so I didn’t give too much thought to them. It wasn’t until the end of my time in this beautiful city that I realized how precious this type of art is.
I was walking down one of the most notorious graffiti laneways, Hosier Lane. This street is across from the Atrium entrance of Federation Square (shown below) and has some of the city’s best street art. The last time I had been there was a few months prior. As I walked down the alley way, it was like it was the first time I had ever seen it – and then I realized that’s because essentially, it was the first time ever seeing it.
Most street art gets painted over eventually. As tragic and senseless as this concept of painting over & defacing art seemed at first, I began to realize that it was all part of this urban culture. The city belonged to everybody, and so everybody was free to create what they want – usually painting over somebody else’s artwork in the process. This makes the street art of Melbourne that much more exquisite – that it is ever changing. You can essentially never walk down the same laneway twice because there is always different artwork to see. It makes the city a permanent [not-so-blank] canvas that artists can continue to create amazing things out of.
There are dozens of laneways to explore in Melbourne. My favorites are as followed:
Melbourne CBD (Central Business District)
Get lost and find beauty.
Now I’ve added this to my bucket list! I love finding street art, it’s like finding a hidden treasure even if it’s easy for everyone to see. I agree it’s sad and also happy that it changes all the time. Beautiful pictures are created, then covered over, but it’s important to remember that nothing ever stays the same forever.
I definitely encourage you to go! It’s an amazing city and like I said, the street art was my favorite part! You can literally spend HOURS looking at the graffiti in the CBD (the city) alone, which I would often do. Thanks for reading!