I’ve never visited a city that has a street art culture as extensive as Melbourne’s. (Don’t you dare call it graffiti.) The creativity in this city is boundless, as evidenced by the buskers on the streets and the art on the walls.
There are laneways aplenty and if you’re not informed, you may walk past an alley without a second glance, never knowing that you missed a larger-than-life Kardashian selfie masterpiece. And so, dear readers, I’ve got you covered with the top spots to see great street art in the Melbourne CBD.
In 2004, Melbourne’s City Council unanimously voted to change Corporation Lane to AC/DC Lane. This street is home to Cherry Bar, which calls itself ‘pretty much the best rock n’ roll bar in the world.’ It’s no surprise that this street is filled with images of famous musicians and lined with gig posters. The last time I visited, there were several posters welcoming Guns N’ Roses to the city lining the lane.
Among these paintings, Banksy, the world’s most famous street, made his mark. Unfortunately, his work was destroyed during recent construction.
When we rocked up to Caledonian Lane, we had to check our map again. This definitely isn’t an overwhelmingly saturated laneway, but just as we were thinking it was a little disappointing, we came upon this gem:
Yikes– were we the kind of people who were missing the beauty?! Better add this one to the list and see the beauty for yourself.
This is one of my favorite pieces of street art in Melbourne. There’s something about the bright colors and order to this painting that makes me so very happy.
Drewery Lane is unlike any of the other laneways in Melbourne. It’s home to Legacy House, which is committed to caring for families of those who lost their life or health to defend the nation. ‘The Mosaic Man,’ Sankar Nadeson has been teaching members of the Legacy family to create mosaic tiles along the theme of legacy, and is showcasing them on Drewery Lane. By 2018, there will be over 1,000 tiles on display for everyone to enjoy.
Duckboard Place wraps around from the end of AC/DC Lane back to Flinders Street. This street is home to a couple larger-than-life works of art. I’m amazed at what the artists must have gone through to create these pieces!
If you’re looking for the most color per centimeter, visit Hosier Lane. It’s always crowded, and for good reason– every wall, rubbish bin and window is covered in paint or some other kind of art installation. Hosier Lane is your best chance to see someone adding their mark to the lane. Graffiti is illegal without the proper permits… but you’ll see plenty of spray paint happening here.
Higson is less colorful than its neighboring laneways, but its worth a visit for thought-provoking poetry like this:
And of course Betty Boop is always a classic… there’s nothing like a girl and her dog.
Oh hey there Kim Kardashian. Just two days after the topless selfie of Kim Kardashian and Em Ratajkowski was posted on Instagram, Australian street artist Lushsux turned it into a 30-foot mural in Sniders Lane. There’s about a 50% chance if there’s someone in the lane when you arrive, they’re taking their own #Liberated selfie…
This teeny tiny lane always packs a pop of color. It’s right off Bourke Street, so you can take in the colorful art while listening to the best buskers in town! Be sure to look all around because you never know what you’ll find on Union Lane.