MELBOURNE | Melbourne is known around the world for its street art, and the inner-western suburb of Footscray is one of the places to find it. The historically working class, immigrant neighbourhood has a proud, diverse history, and its street art reflects this. There are distinct residential, retail, and commercial areas, all with their own vibe and art.
The main reason I head into Footscray is to grab top quality fresh produce from the excellent Footscray Market, and enjoy some food – usually Vietnamese or Ethiopian. When I get here, I always take the time to have a walk around and see what’s happening in the area’s street art scene.
In this Footscray street art guide, I’ll tell you about some of my favourite spots in which you can find Footscray’s best street art. They’re listed alphabetically, and range from the popular and well known, to the more obscure. Do keep in mind that this is just a guide. There’s good stuff all over the suburb, so feel free to explore when you visit.
Albert Street is a retail street that becomes residential as you head south towards Seddon railway station. Two sections are particularly of note for street art – where it intersects with Barkly Street, and further down near Victoria University’s Nicholson Street campus.
Footscray Community Arts Precinct
Hugging the Maribyrnong River, between Napier Street and Hopkins Street, is the Footscray Community Arts Precinct. It’s an precinct dedicated to sharing stories, with exhibits, live music, and events on year ’round. Walk around the precinct to find several captivating murals.
Hopkins Street (which becomes Barkly Street), runs through the heart of Footscray, and is a great point to start your Footscray street art walk. While exploring the side streets for art, make sure to check out Footscray icons on the street, such as Footscray Market, Nhu Lan Bakery (famous for banh mi), and T. Cavallaro & Sons (famous for cannoli).
This hidden square and former carpark is accessible from Chambers Street. Buildings from several streets back onto the square, which is home to a small park and playground, and a lot of street art. The art here has strong community links, dealing with political hot topics like immigration, social justice, and human rights.
Another one of Footscray’s main retail streets, Nicholson Street is where you’ll find some smaller scale murals and a few public art installations. Pop into Mr West if you’re feeling like a drink – they have an amazing craft beer and wine range.
This thoroughfare takes you from the top end of Footscray in the neighbouring suburb of Seddon. It’s worth exploring the entire length of the street, as there’s quite a lot of great street art down the Seddon end. Grab a coffee from Common Galaxia when you first cross over into Seddon.
Victoria University Nicholson Campus
Universities are always a great place for creativity, and the Nicholson campus of Victoria University is particularly notable for the interesting murals on several of the campus buildings.
Identified artists featured in the image gallery include:
Happy discoveries on your walk through Footscray using my Footscray street art guide. What are your favourites places for street art in Footscray? Have you found any other pieces outside of these street art hotspots that you love?