A few weeks ago now, Melbourne was host for the first time to the internationally renowned Meeting of Styles events. Meeting of Styles Melbourne 2016 saw around 300 artists paint all of Melbourne’s legal laneways over four days – as well as a couple of secret spots in and around the city. This was the first time this many lanes had been painted simultaneously.
This event was different to the usual arts events I have attended and posted about in the past, this one focused on graffiti and paid homage to Melbourne’s rich history and still strong graffiti scene.
Apart from the amazing pieces produced and having all of he city’s walls look their best, the vibe over the four days was incredible. Artists and their friends and fans filled the streets – it didn’t feel like we were right in the middle of the Central Busienss Districy of Melbourne at all, which is where many of the lanes are located. Thousands of spectators came to watch and tourists stopped and took hundreds of photos. Check some of the photos out here: #MOSMelbourne
It was refreshing to see some of Australia’s best writers come to town and remind us why Melbourne/Australia has a rich and vibrant graffiti culture, and how much we have to thank graffiti for it’s cousin, street art – also a massive and important part of our city’s fabric and culture.
Locations included, Hosier and Rutledge Lanes, Union Lane, Flinders Court, Croft Alley, Blender Lane, Electric Place, Drewery Lane, Lovelands (next to the Queen Victoria Market) and Whiteman Street and a number of “secret” spots in Footscray and South Yarra.
Check out these great photos by David Russell of the event – more here.
WOW! It’s been way too long between posts! I feel bad that I’ve not been sharing all the goodness that is Melbourne over the last few months, so here’s a catch up of what I’ve missed and other cool stuff happening in and around Melbourne. Also my New Years resolution for 2015, more posts on Vandalog! 🙂
Streets and Walls
There’s never a shortage of new stuff going up in Melbourne, here’s a selection of some of my faves snapped by Melbourne’s finest paintspotters over December. In summary – Lister was in town briefly, he painted and did a few ad takeovers, some super fresh graff by some local and visiting legends. My faves are Jack Douglas’ monster, Senekt’s fluro body parts, RASHE’s pieces, a couple of dope Putos pieces and of course the absolute burner by Bales and Skale.
Still playing catch up on my posts, so here’s my favourites from February. Lots of great stuff yet again in February featuring works by Melbourne’s local talent and a few from our many interstate and international visitors.
To start off the month AllThoseShapes brought us some great bits and pieces, including this great paste from Lucy Lucy, another neon piece from Straker (loving this new style of his), some more rad stencils from Akemi Ito, this apt piece by Spie with an angry gorilla commenting on taggers in Hosier and Rutledge lanes (2 of Melbourne’s most tagged/capped lanes) and a couple of slaps from MIO, who is killing it at the moment with stickers and lots of throwies around town.
Ok, So I am a few months behind on what’s been happening in Melbourne since the start of the year. Summer in Melbourne is always action packed with lots happening. Here’s some of my favourite work from January. February and March posts coming soon.
AllThoseShapes is always capturing all the happenings on the street. I’m loving Akemi Ito‘s stencils that seem to be popping up everywhere lately, I not only like the imagery but also his process drawing, inking and cutting each stencil from scratch. Good to see some new stencils. A great paste by Lifetime Stickyfingers and I love these abstract pieces by Quellle Atak and Madmax. AllThoseShapes also released his new book Figment – which is available here. A great book.
David Russell, chief photographer at Invurt, has really stepped up his game lately and has captured some amazing photos. I have also included a couple of shots below Dave’s by Roberth Pinarete Villanueva, a new photographer in Melbourne, to show the contrast in styles. I love what Roberth does and his shots give you an amazing and different perspective of the works. Roberth takes photos from all angles and then combines them, with stunning results.
Awesome pieces by Putos, Style, Straker and TwoOne. I’ve also included a shot of Keith Haring‘s mural painted in the 80’s which was recently restored (and if you look closely some idiot has tagged it already, hmmm).
A little while ago I heard whispers of something big happening in Perth, Western Australia. I usually only cover Melbourne based art and events, but this is an exception and needs to be shared. I’m heading over to Perth tomorrow so I will be covering the remainder of the event for Vandalog.
PUBLIC started on the 5th of April and continues through to the 13th and will feature street art, projections and installations across the city. 45 amazing artists will paint over 30 giant murals and walls over the fortnight.
The line up is mind blowing and an Australian first, with names like 2501, Phlegm, Yandell Walton, Hayley Welsh, Jordan Seiler, Jerome Davenport, Amok Island, Ian Mutch, Casey Ayres, Chris Nixon, Darren Hutchens, Martin E Wills, Paul Deej, Daek William, Stormie Mills, Hurben, ROA, Ever, Kyle Hughes-Odgers, Peche, Natasha Muhl, Phibs, Beastman, Lucas Grogan, Andrew Frazer, Hyuro, Mekel, Mow Skwoz, Drew Straker, Jaz, Abdul-Rahman Abdullah, Maya Hayuk, Reko Rennie, Pixel Pancho, Jetsonorama, Gaia, Alexis Diaz, Nathan Beard, Remed, Vans the Omega, The Yok and Sheryo and more.
Here’s a couple of work in progress shots I stole from Sam Gorecki via Invurt. More here.
I’m happy to finally share this project with Vandalog. Completed in late February, Hosier Inc’s 1st project “Paint UP”. It’s been a long time coming and lots of hard work by the members of Hosier Inc, a not for profit community association made up of anyone that loves Hosier and Rutledge Lanes, the community, residents, local businesses, and artists themselves. (Formed in order to oppose the installation of CCTV cameras in the lanes).
Not to mention the amazing piece itself by Adnate! Painted over 3 days using a swing stage to access the canvas, conveniently available while the building owners repaired the damaged wall. Not only is it a beautiful piece, it also has real meaning and a real affinity to the location.
The project was called Paint UP; a simple play on words; extending access to artists to the untouched walls (never painted before) above ground level in Hosier and Rutledge lanes, 2 of Melbourne’s most recognised street art locations.
From Hosier Inc: “Six artists were invited by Hosier Inc to submit a concept for a large-scale image to be painted on the rear of McDonald House in Hosier Lane. The successful proposal was to demonstrate a rationale and a design that showed an affinity with the location of the wall & building. Members voted and selected Adnate’s submission”.
Adnate’s submission was a portrait of an indigenous boy looking over the lane way & out towards Birrarung Marr – a sacred indigenous land mark in the centre of the city.
I’ve always thought we are missing one vital element as a recognised street art city, more giant murals in the city itself. This is a good addition to the few we have in central Melbourne and I hope there are many more to come!
The reaction to the piece was also very welcome. Two major newspapers ran the story, as well as every Melbourne news station the evening the piece was completed.
Wonderwalls, a 3 day street art and graffiti festival up north in Wollongong looked awesome, featuring a great line up of Australian and International artists. From Melbourne Shida, Wonderlust, Adnate, Two One, Idiot and Sirum.
Backwoods Gallery had their last show “A Study of Hands” for 2013 and it was a cracker, continuing on in the anatomy series – which will apparently continue over ten years – epic. I particularly liked works by Dave Kinsey and Lister.
Alex Mitchell, Curator of Backwoods Gallery and writer for The Opening Hours was back in Melbourne for the month. Alex did some great studio visits with Two One, Miso and Ghostpatrol. Some great, intimate photos.
Everyone’s been talking about this abando and I can see why. David Russell managed to find his way in and capture some amazing work. I really love Slicer’s geometrical shapes filled with his signature slices, as well as Deams, and Rashe’s pieces. All of this work feels so at home in this place. I do love abandos! More here.
I am extremely late with this post, it’s been a busy last month or so, but I wanted to share the 2nd session of All Your Walls Melbourne, a satellite event we ran in late November as a part of the MELBOURNE NOW exhibition held by the National Gallery of Victoria. You can read all about the event in my previous post here.
The final 3 days were definitely not as hectic, I’d say that is due to the fact we didn’t have 6 massive scissor lifts moving around the lanes all day, but it was a great way to finish off the event.
Artists starting arriving early on the 1st day and worked all the way up until the official opening. The last 3 days of the event attracted thousands of visitors coming to see the finished laneways. All stakeholders were delighted with the final result, a full repaint of the entire Hosier and Rutledge Lane precinct, something that has never been done before. The event also received some great reviews.
Check out this great video from EdInFocus that gives you a good idea of what the event was all about.
From my personal perspective the importance of this event extended beyond the event itself. Rutledge Lane (Hosier’s lesser known cousin) has become known as a “practice lane” due to the poor quality of the work being painted there. All Your Walls showed Melbourne that Rutledge Lane can be just as good as Hosier Lane and in my opinion should remain that way. It was a refreshing sight to see that for several weeks after the event the work was respected (usually it gets tagged and painted over by complete rubbish, that does not deserve to be in the lane, again in my opinion). It was also both surprising and pleasing to see that local artists have begun to maintain the lanes, without being asked.
My feelings about Rutledge Lane are in line with my recent submission/response to the Melbourne City Council Graffiti Management Policy. Melbourne City Council recently proposed officially classifying Rutledge lane as a practice lane, which I was strongly opposed to. Encouraging this behaviour encourages a “do as you wish” attitude in Rutledge lane, which before All Your Walls was at it’s worst state in a long time. (Adrian Doyle’s Empty Nursery Blue project also had an impact on this lane). [The policy also contains some great ideas and a fresh new attitude towards street art in Melbourne, for example now the council will leave street art alone, unless asked. Previously the council would contact building owners and ask if they would like it removed. I think this is a pretty progressive attitude for a council, even though the council knows that Melbourne would not be the same without street art].
One other important thing I would like to clear up, especially for my readers in Melbourne. While All Your Walls was indeed organised by a number of parties (NGV, Land of Sunshine, Invurt, Just Another Agency and Hosier INC), Hosier and Rutledge lanes remain free for ANYONE to paint, anytime. That being said, don’t cap what you can’t burn, seriously, what an embarrassment some of the tags and pieces are over the top of some REAL work.
Check out some of the amazing work from the final 3 days as well as the amazing 3D mapping piece created by DVATE and Grant Osborne.
Wow! What a year it has been in Melbourne street art and graffiti, this is my 2nd last post covering 2013. December post coming soon. I hope you all had a good Christmas and New Years Eve whatever you got up to.
I’ll start off with this great talk Ghostpatrol gave at Renew NewcastleCreative Talks. GP talks about his current life as a full time artist, growing up and the influence and importance of street art on his current work. GP also mentioned the ABC documentary made about him (and his partner – Miso) which is also definitely worth a watch – available here.
Kaffeine used the All Your Walls event as a launching board for her latest project HEARTCORE. (I’ll be doing a separate article on All Your Walls Part 2 soon).
Kaffeine painted her 1st piece for her new projectHEARTCORE. For this amazing project Kaff is working with Berry Street, a child and family services organisation, and using real stories created by young people at the at Berry Street.
From the Just Another Blog “Creative writing and poetry from young people in Berry Street School will be interpreted by renowned Victorian street and contemporary artist Kaffeine and painted as a series of large and small street art murals on walls across Melbourne; including one that will take up a whole inner-‐city laneway. A coffee-‐table book titled HEARTCORE will then be launched at the conclusion of the project, made up of professional and artistic photographs of the murals together with the writing”.
This post is super late but definitely worth sharing with you all. I have been flat out working on the 2nd and final installment of ALL YOUR WALLS (last Wednesday through Friday – which was a HUGE success, I’ll be doing a full post on that soon). October’s post is short and sweet with some amazing content. Take some time to watch the videos and check out some of the awesome pics below.
This interview from Upstart Magazine with Australian stencil artist Damien Mitchell is a great way to start (Damien now lives in Brooklyn NYC). Damien gives a good insight into Melbourne’s scene and some great shots of some of the city’s best spots for street art and graff. Being a dog lover I’m a huge fan of the story behind the dog stencil.
This great short doco reappeared on vimeo after a long time in hiding. Melbourne Ink was filmed back in 2008 by Julien Sena and Romain Levrault while visiting from France. The video features the work of and interviews with some of Melbourne’s best artists; right in the midst of the massive explosion of street art in our city. Big ups to Fletch for the link!
Seeing this music video was a great surprise. Australian band Spiderbait recently released the music video for the track ‘It’s Beautiful’ (from their self titled album). A great video showing off some of Melbourne’s best lane ways and featuring the work of many Melbourne street artists and some music by a rad band.
Miso’s latest show ‘Bright Night Sky’ at Backwoods Gallery was amazing to say the least! Each piece created with a series of intricate pin pricks that come together to form beautiful pieces. Sold out before it opened, nice! These great shots show off some of her work and the awesome installation (in particular the fish eye shot).
My friend Lou Chamberlin launched her new book “Street Art Melbourne” in Hosier lane. Lou has been collecting shots of Melbourne’s amazing street art in our streets and lanes for the last 6 years or so, and the result is this great new book, showcasing some of Melbourne’s best artists alongside interstate and international visitors. Lou also invited a bunch of artists down and provided some paint to help colour the lane. I was asked to write the forward for the book which I was happy to do. Check out some of the work painted on the day here. You can preview the book and grab a copy here.
Kirpypainted his iconic Metcard stencil at Revolver. A common sight around Melbourne a few years ago, before it was replaced by the latest ticketing system. If you don’t get why it’s ripped then you probably won’t appreciate the stencil as much 😉 I love the crispness of the stencil against the texture of the wall, it sort of looks like it’s floating.
Reka painted this awesome mural in San Francisco – a mad piece. He also did a great interview on the local news.
He also painted in Portland this Autumn themed wall, titled “The Fall”. I’m really loving the direction James is taking with his work, to me it seems like he is incorporating more traditional shapes and objects meshed with his awesome style that we know and love!
This recap of Project 5 in Sydney, featuring Rone and Adnate from Melbourne. A great little project with Rone, Adnate, Numskull and Jodee Knowles. All proceeds from the works went towards supporting a great charity (ICE). A good close up of the live work and interviews with the artists.
David Russell’s “Through the Lens” for October brings the goods from around town, as usual. Here’s some of my faves.
And to finish up a couple of rippers from Dean Sunshine’s Top Ten.
Photos courtesy of Dean Sunshine, David Russell, Dreaded Cat Studios and Reka.