Melbourne, Australia is internationally known for its street art and its trams. Melbourne Street Art 86 imagines Melbourne's 86 tram route as though it were a giant open air gallery of street art with its own regular tram service. The pages in the dark blue side bar below have photos of street art by the suburbs the tram passes through. Locations are noted by tram stop, street location and also on maps of the area that can be downloaded or printed. Other Melbourne suburbs rich in street art are also featured.
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Art works at most street art sites can last a matter of days, sometimes weeks and not often more than a few months, so over the past five years this website has moved from being a guide to the street art on the 86 tram route to a record of the art at a particular period.
In the meantime I have, after nearly 25 years of producing little more than functional graphics and diagrams for work, returned to doing a bit of digital sketching and painting of my own on the Ipad Pro using Procreate and Affinity Designer.
I am quite sure there is a not insubstantial influence on the work I have been doing from of the hundreds of hours I spent recording Melbourne Street art and curating and posting it on this site. It was likely also the rite of passage that lead me back to expressing ideas and feelings visually. Although, spending the past year working in an administrative role in the RMIT School of Art probably had something to do with this as well!
You can see a few examples of what I have been doing below.
Saturday, February 23, 2013
The map is an ongoing project, with more locations to be added and also more geographic detail and lanes and alley, but most of the essential information is already there.
The CENTRAL MELBOURNE - street art catalog and map page has photographs of each of these sites.
Friday, February 22, 2013
I have also reorganised the Other locations - City of Melbourne page and renamed it to become a reasonably complete catalog of the street art locations in Central Melbourne - CENTRAL MELBOURNE - Street art catalog and map. Locations that are featured with more photographs on the MELBOURNE - Bourke Street page are highlighted with orange italic headings on the reworked page.
It still needs a bit of work to add all locations in sequence and link the page locations to numbers that I will put on the Melbourne map that is on the page, but once I have completed this I won't be doing any more major work on the site for a while - I have some other projects unrelated to street art to work on for a few months before I will have time to do anything substantial here.
I will however post a few updates of new artworks as they happen, add some more artists names from time to time and probably various small posts on whatever takes my fancy a couple of times a week to keep the feed going for the site. I might get to do a couple more maps for the other locations pages as well at some point but the St Kilda and South Melbourne page I had been planning to add to the site will probably have to wait until the Winter, as will any more work on finishing the other locations Fitzroy page.
Also below is a new mural in Literature Lane in central Melbourne that was commissioned by RMIT as part of the White Night festival, which is on this Saturday. It is a collaboration between Ghost Patrol and one other artist, whose name I did not manage to find out - despite chatting to them on my lunch break along with a friend I met for lunch, it slipped me mind to ask what they were both usually known as in the street art world.
This is what was there until a couple of days ago:
Sunday, February 17, 2013
Below is a selection of the art works from this area that are featured on the new page.
Saturday, February 16, 2013
And this is what it looked like today when I walked past it. It had already been damaged and tagged in the photo above; I am unsure if that is why they are replacing it, but the site is apparently sponsored by a beer company, organisations which move in mysterious ways.
In the case of corner of Gertrude Street and Smith Street, I am not sure whether I simply missed the figures up on the top of the advertising hoarding, or they are new. I will add them to the FITZROY - Getrude Street page as it is not complicated to add something at the end of the sequence of works and there is plenty of space on the map.
Some new deleted scenes - the following I didn't include in the COLLINGWOOD - Smith Street page because it would have meant adding another location for one work - and the rest of the graffiti around that location is all pretty much tagging.
And this one, in Little Smith Street, I did not include in the FITZROY - Gertrude Street page because I felt there were already enough examples from that street (there are quite a few others I could add too, and may do in time, but this one I particularly liked).
Friday, February 15, 2013
I am not an artist, but I was to some degree many years ago when I drew quite regularly, did many illustrations and painted in watercolour and some in oils. Later I worked as a computer graphic artist for a number of years. While I was mostly doing various types of corporate design and animation, I did a fair amount of experimenting artistically with the computer graphics software of the time, during after work hours and lunchtimes.
One of the reasons I suspect I was drawn to street art is that it reminded me a lot of the sort of work I did on those early computer graphics systems (this is the late 1980s and early 90s I am talking about). The early systems I used were 8bit, which only allowed you 256 colours, but you could create vignettes of 10-15 colours at a time and use shapes filled with these to create an illusion of shading. The later systems were full 24 bit or 32bit, as all paint software is these days. On those more sophisticated systems you had airbrush tools, which are in many ways similar to the aerosols paints most street artists use.
The other similarity is that the colours on a computer screen are luminous, as is the paint used in many street art pieces. I suspect this is because some of the paint they use is fluorescent - fluorescent paint includes particles whose molecules are 'excited by some spectrum of the suns rays and actually give off visible light. So when some street art looks as though it glows in sunlight, it probably actually is.
Having spent many hours photographing and 'curating' street art on this site, I was curious to see what happened when I tried to envisage some art of my own, using some of the 'vocabulary' of the work I have seen.
I sat down at lunchtime today and freeform sketched a few ideas. The page is shown below.
I have now spent a bit of time working up some rough colour versions of the ideas I had sketched.
Here, for better or worse, they are.
The first one started out as a idea for a solar system like an eye and I had sketched an eyebrow above it on the sheet above. The tears came quite spontaneously after I created the basic shapes. Once I had added them it seems natural somehow to evolve the entire thing into a kind of cosmic face.
The end result is too dark really, but seems reminiscent of the work of James Reka, which I often enjoy when I come across it.
But I came back to it a bit later in evening and tried some other variations, until I ended up with something much less elaborate.
I think this is a kind of play on ancient Greek architecture and the fascination of some anceint philosophers with geometric forms. It also perhaps echoes the cartoon like characters that often accompany the elaborate calligraphic names street artists uses. I didn't have time to create something that elaborate though.
Here is a version that is simpler...
This seems to echo the stencil form in street art, but I suppose if you were to actually create something like this on a wall, you could actually glue real dirt and a pair of scissors to the piece.