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Melbourne Oct '23

Updated: Nov 22, 2023

This October I decided to travel to Australia for the month. This is something I've wanted to do for a while now and something I felt I had to do alone. However, I timed it purposely because my old mate now lives in Sydney. What better time to do it. It was decided, I would visit Melbourne first, solo, then onto Sydney to meet up with my mate and onwards up the East Coast we would go.

I have always been a fan of a lot of Australian, mostly Melbourne-based artists. I am also curious about the art and graff scene over there.

I arrived in Melbourne late at night after my 27-hour trip through Abu Dhabi and Kuala Lumpur, nearly missing the connecting flight at Kuala Lumpur. After a sprint through the airport, catching a train to another terminal then another sprint and multiple queue jumps I had actually made it to Melbourne, it was pretty surreal. I was buzzing to be there and have the time and freedom to explore the city, the art/ graff scenes and get immersed in them.

I stepped out of the train station into a hugely-built up modern city, much different than I expected, only to realise my phone data wasn't working at all. Finding my hostel was going to be a challenge. But I fancied a walk and explore without looking down at my phone anyway and I knew it was only a few blocks away, so I began to walk in what I thought was the right direction.

As I turned the first corner off the main road heading for the next block, I came across the first piece of street art I'd seen so far. It was a huge Smug One mural, I believe the subjects are his Grandma and Grandad. This was a just a taste of the quality of work I

was about to discover over the next week in Melbourne.

I mostly spent my days visiting galleries, looking for places to paint and going to each and every graffiti shop in town, which were all in different boroughs. This got me exploring on the tram and on foot which led to me getting some nice paintings done down all the graff covered laneways of the different suburbs.

My favourite area of all was Fitzroy. It was buzzing with life and cool independent businesses such as small clothing brands, cafe's, bars and loads of choice of different nationalities cuisines. There were loads of small art galleries here which all had amazing work that inspired me. There is inspiration everywhere in every form. From the graffiti to the street art, bigger murals, art galleries and murals inside the cafes and bars etc.

On either side of the main road, Brunswick Street, set back a couple of blocks are these amazingly vibrant suburbs of mostly bungalows, old fashioned ornately decorated houses, contrasted with modern minimalist homes and nearly all of them are painted.

Either with high quality murals that complement the surrounding tree lined streets and wild-flower gardens to full graff productions on people's houses, to street art characters and graff throwups on all the fences and garage doors. The alleys 'Laneways' behind the houses are like Halls of Fame. It's an graffiti and street art playground that is embraced by most residents of the area.

Richmond was also a great area and had a cool little graff shop. In Richmond I visited Lennox Street Gallery specifically to see the 'In Situ' exhibition and floor talk by one of my favourite artists, Tom Gerrard. It was great to see the work in person and listen to Tom talk about his work and how it is inspired by his home life and new rural studio environment.

Some other notable Galleries I visited are Brunswick Street Gallery, SOL Gallery and North Gallery. I also discovered some great new artists in these galleries. I'll put some examples below.

Artist's names from left to right are Nattiwut Phuanphi, Adnate and David Ramsden.

I'm writing and will be publishing soon, a part 2 to continue the stories of my Australia trip and probably a few more parts to be able to fit it all in. The next part will be about my rail journey to Sydney and my time in Sydney. After I had met up with my mate, we also visited Cairns, Gold Coast and Byron Bay so there is a fair bit I could write about!

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