STREET ART – Brunswick Street, Fitzroy

Apart from Melbourne’s lane ways, there are an extraordinary number of gifted and highly creative Street Artists who display their craft in the inner suburbs.

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Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, dates back to the early 1840s.  Originally a working-class area of low rent and cheap shops, it is now home to many students, artists and bohemians.

I walked partway down one small section on the way to the supermarket in that area and made a few images of the Street Art (to share online) on the way.

(I must be the only person who carries a camera and lenses on the back of their shopping trolley to do food shopping 🙂 ).

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Shop facades in Brunswick Street and surrounding side streets are usually unkempt and un-restored.  Those buildings/shops that are painted, are often  done with a ‘distressed‘ effect – I suppose there must be some kind of chemical which makes paint peel as it dries?  Some of the shop signs are works of art in themselves and Street Art adorns almost every corner or main building.  Even the 1st floor above the shops, which are residential, have the occasional window covered with a painted piece of art.

Even though I’m a Nature Lover at heart, I can’t help but be awed by these outdoor art galleries.  Since I moved to the north-eastern side of inner Melbourne 12 months ago, my main  bus route to the city centre leads me straight past many of these areas.  One of these days, I’ll walk down the main road from the city through Carlton, Brunswick, Fitzroy and Collingwood (which are inner suburbs along the bus route) and photograph some more of this extraordinary Street Art.

Ehrrrrrr……..not all in one day though 🙂

OLD CORNER BUILDING (colour version) – Fitzroy

The more I view this image in colour this morning afternoon (I slept in!), the more I am intrigued by the blend of original and modern features, so I thought you might like to have a second viewing.  If you’ve only got a tiny computer screen, I guess the details won’t be as clear.

Note the modern electricity pole reflected in the window, the CCTV attached to the brick façade and the bulb (?) in the old gas lamp.  Obviously the electricity and tram wires in the top right are modern too.  Although trams were operating in part of Melbourne in the early 1900s.  The modern brick wall repairs are obvious.  We can see just a few bluestones in the brick wall on the ground floor.

Another interesting note – early Melbourne architecture is mainly bluestone quarried from nearby in the early 1830s when Melbourne was established and yet the 2nd storey of this building looks very much like sandstone (on which Sydney’s early architecture is based).

Altogether an interesting image for the early Australian history buffs out there.

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FITZROY (Melbourne’s first suburb)

IMG_2929Yesterday, I caught a bus, and then tram, over to an inner suburb I haven’t been to in many, many years.  I don’t know why (as it is renowned for its Street Art and one of Melbourne’s vibrant entertaining areas – very Bohemian in fact – great for artists, and………..photographers).

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IMG_2939Superb weather and blue skies but I was overdressed and got so hot that I made it a pretty short walk (compared to my usual long stroll).  I spoke to one of the young local street artists taking a break in the shade of a building (opposite to the one he was working on).  He suggested I go to Rose Street, Fitzroy to see some great Street Art (which was some blocks away, a bit of a long walk for me in the heat of the bright sun).  But I made it.

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Many shops were closed for the Christmas/New Year break, but there were many others, (including bars and restaurants), open.

Fitzroy was planned as Melbourne’s first suburb and is located about 2 kilometres north-east of Melbourne’s CBD.
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Brunswick Street is one of the main streets in the area and has changed (or should I say revitalised) into a lively stretch of old (about mid to late 1800s) terraced shops, hotels and eateries with a sort of …………. Grungy, Quirky style that is irresistible to someone like me with an interest in history, cafe society and camera in hand.

I love the peeling paint and multi-layered posters curling up on some of the walls – quite a highlight of the exterior façade of many of the buildings.

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I’ll go back another day and make some more photos for you.  My 50mm f1.4 prime lens was fabulous in this area, but in the narrow lanes I had to resort to my ‘wonky’ unreliable 18-200mm lens because I couldn’t get far enough back to capture the whole length of the murals I saw.
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