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Sydney Street Art: The Tour

Back street boys and girls
Since the 1980s Enmore, Erskenville, Camperdown and St Peters have become home to shed-loads of Sydney’s street art.

This is where we went a wandering one day. My favourite is the loop of Wilford Street, Gladstone Street (including the corner of Phillip Street), Phillip Lane and Thurnby Lane. Where we saw these:

1. A big mural of an angel on Wilford Street, Newtown.Sydney Street Art in Newtown | Blah Blah Magazine

2. EMOS, is apparently credited for a lot of the bio-mechanical work in this area, like these fellas with nasty teeth on Wilford Street, Newtown.Sydney Street Art in Newtown | Blah Blah Magazine3. Poster art (ahem, aka Wheat Pasting, because of the flour and water mix used to stick the posters on the wall) on Gladstone Street, Newtown.Sydney Street Art in Newtown | Blah Blah Magazine4. Some abstract street art bits on Phillip Lane, Newtown.Sydney Street Art in Newtown | Blah Blah Magazine5. Underneath this stencil of the Natural History Museum is an archaelogical dig of street art.
This spot on the corner of Phillip and Gladstone streets has been home to many works and now someone has added a balaclava plaster piece with gold frame. I would love to know who is doing the balaclavas, they seem to be everywhere: Newtown, St Peters and Balmain.Sydney Street Art in Newtown | Blah Blah Magazine6. I’m calling this pic ‘Disarmament’ on Gladstone Street, NewtownSydney Street Art in Newtown | Blah Blah Magazine

And this Kids’ TV one is right next to it.Sydney Street Art in Newtown | Blah Blah Magazine
King Street artists and murderers
Given the, ahem, slightly dodgy nature of graffiti it’s often difficult to attribute the artists, however most of the big famous murals are not far from Newtown Station on King Street, like ‘I have a dream’, Martin Luther King and Mona. They are all credited to a group called UAP or Unmitigated Audacity Productions.

One of its main members, Andrew Aiken, was on the run after murdering a guy and concreting over him in the cellar of a squat they shared in Hackney, North London. Several years after painting the murals he went back to the UK, confessed to the crime and served 8 years. He is now the father of two and a devout member of the Twelve Tribes religious movement.

May Lane and the not quite so illegal
The residents around May Lane in St Peters have granted permission for graffiti artists to work along the garages and back walls of the laneway. Hence, it’s wall to wall  street art and everyone seems to merrily paint over other work, so there is always something new.Sydney Street Art in Newtown | Blah Blah Magazine

Applebee Street and the stencil wall (credited as one of Sydney’s first stencil walls) are just on the other side of May Street from May Lane.Sydney Street Art in Newtown | Blah Blah Magazine

Some great books on the subject:

Stencil Graffiti Capital Melbourne – Jake Smallman
Uncommissioned Art: Art A-Z of Australian Graffitii – Christine Dow
Street/Studio: The Place of Street Art in Melbourne – Alison Young

A YouTube doco: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8h8CWYyDpU

Thank you Gordon Eckel for taking the awesome pics and to Brad Leonard for all his insights!

Where is your favourite street art?


About BlahBlahMagazine

Cybele Masterman (Bele) trained as a beauty therapist, aromatherapist and journalist. After working as all of the above has found herself on a quest for a beautiful and meaningful life that doesn't cost the earth. Follow on google: +blahblahmagazine twitter: @blahblahzine or Instagram: BlahBlahMagazine

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  1. Thurnby Lane and Phillip Lane, all the way!

  2. Gorgeous work Bell!

    My three all time favourites (more for comic value than any artistic intergrity) are:-
    – Off King St Newtown there used to be “God hates homos” painted in big letters by some hateful idiot and some excellent person had written in response “but does he like tabouli?” (makes me laugh every time I remember it)
    – The toilets at Sydney’s Botanical Gardens have a sign reading “Graffiti Will Be Prosecuted” with someone writing “OK” underneath.
    – A red “STOP” sign in Surry Hills with “Hammer time” written under it.

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