We are seeing history in the making in Melbourne’s laneways. The street artists of Victoria’s capital are defining the city’s urban culture with confidence and the back lanes are a living landscape of local creativity. Wandering around these suburban Melbourne laneways reveals eye-popping Melbourne laneway graffiti.
One of the best things to do in Melbourne is to wander the laneways to admire the collection of street art.
These days, Melbourne street art has moved out of the CBD and into the suburbs of Fitzroy and Collingwood, where giant artistic wall murals are part of the allure.
A street art tour guided by a practising street artist is the perfect way to see the city through a different set of eyes both during the day and Melbourne at night.
Where else in the world would you find tourists elbowing each other to take photographs of a suburban carpark?
Melbourne Laneway Graffiti
Street art in the Rose carpark
The Rose Carpark is located in Fitzroy near the Rose Street Artists’ Market.
It’s in an intimate building and is a great spot to shop for local crafts, jewellery and unique clothing.
As I wander around the back lanes with international street artist, Rone, I realise the walls of Fitzroy are a living canvas.
We stop to watch a hooded artist create magic with a can of spray and the vibrant and eye-catching colours lift my spirit.
Fitzroy is also packed with excellent cafes and restaurants dishing up delicious meals and snacks for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
So it’s not surprising that a favourite thing to do for Melbournians is to head to Fitzroy for a meal. In Fitzroy, you’re likely to find the best brunch in Melbourne.
The difference between graffiti or street art
Most of us think of any kind of public art as graffiti but according to the City of Melbourne, graffiti is illegal in Australia.
However, Melbourne is well and truly streets ahead in the race to be one of the world’s great street art capitals.
Melbourne street art is eye-catching and big.
These large artistic murals are painted on walls with permission of the property owners.
There’s even a street art mentoring programme that offers young people the opportunity to learn from established artists.
Feast your eyes on these murals.
Meet famous Melbourne street artist – Rone
A well-known Melbourne street artist, Rone (Tyrone Wright) has painted murals around the world, in London, Paris, Barcelona, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica.
Rone is the founder of Everfresh Studio in Collingwood and is famous for painting murals of beautiful women.
Juddy Roller is another business that specialises in street art management.
The studio is a warren of artists cubicles and an eye-opener to the many different styles of street art in Melbourne.
Here are some more examples:
Melbourne Street Art – The Refugee
The Refugee is a famous mural of the young man holding a burning house.
It’s the main feature on a three-storey wall on Easey Street in Collingwood.
The Refugee deals with issues of climate change and cultural identity.
According to artist Fintan Magee, the young man’s backpack is packed with materials to rebuild his flooded world and lost home.
Melbourne Street Art – Easy Livin Mural
The Collingwood power substation (corner of Easey Street and Wellington Street) is now a substantial piece of commissioned public art.
The murals are a collaboration between several artists, including Rone, Adnate, Mayonaize, Guido Van Helton, Askew and Adnate.
Melbourne City laneways
By Ading Attamimi
Melbourne’s laneways are somewhere you can get lost and really enjoy the wonder of the city.
Off Flinders Lane, if you walk to the west you’ll reach Degraves Street, which is a great place to eat and drink.
The coffee shops here are amazing and the seating arrangement is unique.
There are tables right in the middle of the laneway.
Even though it’s a typical Melbourne laneway, it has such European charm!
Another great spot is the famous Centre Place, which is short Melbourne Laneway packed with bars, cafes and coffee stalls.
It’s a great spot to meet friends for a drink and a chat.
The setup of al-fresco eateries is fascinating to explore. Centre Place is where you’ll find the graffiti known as “City of Lights”.
The laneway is often used to promote Melbourne.
To the east of Flinders Lane, you’ll arrive at Hosier Lane, a bluestone cobbled lane.
Hosier Lane has some cocktail lounges, such as Misty and MoVida.
It was also where Masterchef Australia season two was filmed, showcasing the lane as one of Melbourne’s attractions.
This is an art laneway that is creative and beautiful to look at. Every time visit, there’s something different and unique.
The art keeps changing all the time.
I never tire of visiting Hosier Lane.
From here head to Bourke Street Mall and you will come across another graffiti lane call Union Lane.
You won’t find any bars, boutiques or cafes here.
What most people come here to see is the giant graffiti mural, which is one of the city’s best street art sites.
The whole wall is covered in art.
Union Lane was the result of a mentoring program launched by the City of Melbourne.
It showcases work created by 50 young artists.
As you can see, Melbourne’s laneways are an inspiration for artists, writers and photographers.
So next time you’re in Melbourne, take the time to wander around and explore the colourful and character-filled Melbourne laneways.