Melbourne, Australia – Home of one of the world’s best collections of Street Art! Street Art is loosely defined as any art developed and displayed in public spaces. The term can include what we typically think of as unapproved graffiti, as well as stencil graffiti, sticker art, street poster art, video projection, art intervention, guerrilla art, flash mobbing and street installations. For this particular photo essay of Street Art Melbourne, we’ll be concentrating on traditional graffiti displays found all around the city.
Distinction in Melbourne between illegal graffiti and street art is clear. In the past, traditional graffiti artists used free-hand aerosol paints under cover of darkness to produce their works in a process called ‘tagging’. Graffiti is regulated as the marking of another person’s property without permission. Graffiti can include tags, stencils, pieces and even colorful murals which have been done without the permission of the person who owns the wall and without permission from the local council. Graffiti is illegal everywhere in Australia, including within the City of Melbourne. The City of Melbourne embraces their street artists by granting permits allowing STREET ART. This is artistic work done with the permission of the person who owns the wall that the work is being done on, and with the permission of the local council.
With the proper permission, street art is legal in the City of Melbourne. Council has a Street Art Melbourne permit process which enables property owners and tenants to get permission to let street artists paint on their walls. The City of Melbourne offers an educational program entitled ‘Do art – not tags’ being offered to Year 5 and Year 8 students in schools within the city. Actors visit classroom and provide information about the differences between graffiti and street art and how different choices can lead to different consequences.
Within the city of Melbourne, it’s possible to find pockets of art around almost any corner. For some of the best displays of Street Art Melbourne, head to
- Hosier and Rutledge Lane, opposite Federation Square
- Caledonian Lane, off Little Bourke Street
- Union Lane, off Bourke Street Mall
- Rear of 280 Queen Street in Finlay Avenue
- 21 Degraves Street
- Cnr Flinders Lane and Cocker Alley
- 122 Palmerston Street, Carlton
- Centre Place, between Collins Street and Flinders Lane
To see all of our Melbourne Street Art Flickr images, click HERE. Hope you enjoy!