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Embracing Graffiti

Over the Xmas hols (holidays for short in Aussie slang) I escaped down under to visit family and bask in the very warm sunshine. You can’t visit Melbourne without a trip to Brunswick Street, the Fitzroy neighborhood’s main drag. Brunswick Street is one of the ritziest streets in town and provides a lot of upscale and very hip shopping and eating pleasure.

The tiny alleys and streets feeding into Brunswick were an unexpected surprise. There we found both occupied and abandoned buildings joyfully encased in graffiti. Now I’ve never been much of a fan of wall art. Wall art can often mean that the neighborhood doesn’t have the buying power to renovate the building behind the facade. But here, off Brunswick Street, one of the most expensive places in town, the colorful walls are encouraged and are just captivating.

Fitzroy is not the only neighborhood in Melbourne with extraordinary street art. Renowned for its vibrant contributions to the urban scene, artists have been encouraged to contribute by the city which provides public wall space as future gallery space. Walking maps abound and are a good way to find a corner or two of graffiti to peruse. Serious art lovers can even take a tour or a workshop with local practicing artists.

I loved it all. Preview below. Visit Melbourne if you can.