MELBOURNE | Melbourne is one of the world’s best cities to visit for lovers of street art. A great place to find it is in Brunswick, the constantly evolving inner-city suburb whose street art reflects its diversity. The art ranges from pop culture to memes, political commentary, cultural and environmental topics, and more.
I love to wander around Brunswick with my camera, looking for new pieces of street art, and seeing how many of my favourites still exist or have evolved over time. Artworks in this neighbourhood are created by local artists, and international visitors. Often, the two collaborate for some truly special pieces.
In this Brunswick street art guide, I’ll tell you about some of my favourite spots in Brunswick to find some of the area’s best street art. They’re listed alphabetically, and range from the popular and well known, to the more obscure. I’ve also included the neighbouring suburb of Brunswick East. Remember to use this as a guide, and explore yourself. There’s always new stuff popping up all over the neighbourhood so keep your eyes peeled.
Located just off Lygon Street, Ann Street is where you go if you want to find the brilliant Sunshine Lane. Be sure to spend some time on Ann Street itself, as it’s full of great murals.
The laneway running of Weston Street, that connects the back of shopping centre Barkly Square and the rear of the shops lining this section of Sydney Road has always been home to some great street art. When the shopping centre was redeveloped a few years ago, several pieces were commissioned for the centre itself.
Also be sure to check out the Lushsux mural of Arnold Schwarzenegger on the side of Doherty’s Gym across the road.
Connecting Sydney Road and the Upfield Shared Path, you’ll find Florence Street. It’s an interesting part of town, where new developments stand shoulder to shoulder with old warehouses and factories. There’s a lot of meme and pop-culture street art here, not just on Florence Street, but on the little laneways and paths that run off it.
Many tourists stop when the reach the end of the Carlton part of Lygon Street. It’s a shame, because if you keep heading north to the Brunswick East section, you’ll be treated to some of the best food and drink that Melbourne has to offer. As well as food and drink, there’s a lot of street art around here. On Lygon Street itself, and the many side and backstreets nearby.
Off Sydney Road you’ll find Michael Street, which will connect you to a gem of a back street, Saxon Street. Start with a drink and feed at the excellent Theodore’s, at the southern end of the street. There’s a bunch of street art in this little spot which you can explore, before walking north up Saxon Street.
When you’re done, pop into Blak Dot Gallery, a contemporary First Nations artist-run space to showcase contemporary artworks from world Indigenous cultures. Note that Blak Dot Gallery is currently closed for renovations. It’s slated to reopen, bigger and even better, in May 2024.
Sunshine Lane was established in 2009 by street art lover Dean Sunshine. He’s the owner of long-standing family business Rathdowne Fabrics, which have several warehouses that back onto the laneway.
It’s unique in that it harkens back to an era before street art became commoditised and commercial. Local and international artists all feature in this open-air gallery. There’s always something new to see here, but there’s also pieces which have been around for decades.
It’s a safe haven for artists, and it’s free for anyone to paint here. All forms of street art and graffiti are welcome, and a variety of topics are covered. Sunshine Lane operates upon an ethos of mutual respect for the other artists whose works feature.
As the main throughfare running through Brunswick, it should come as no surprise that Sydney Road is a great place to use as an ‘anchor’ for your street art journey through the area. Sydney Road itself isn’t home to a lot of street art – it’s the side streets and back streets where you’ll find a lot of it. Having said that, a lot of the pieces on many of the side streets can be spotted from Sydney Road.
Upfield Shared Path
The Upfield Shared Path is a pedestrian and cycle path that runs alongside the Upfield train line, parallel to Sydney Road. It’s a very urban, industrial path, with a lot of street art to be found on the buildings, factories, and warehouses that back onto the path.
Identified artists featured in the image gallery include:
- CTO (Peter Seaton)
- Damien Arena (Da Image Maker)
- Jeswri (Jessi Wright)
- Julian Clavijo
- Katira Art (Katherine Gailer)
- Loretta Lizzio
Happy discoveries on your walk through Brunswick using my Brunswick street art guide. What are your favourites places for street art in Brunswick? Have you found any other pieces outside of these street art hotspots that you love?