Why not try: Discovering Melbourne’s street art

Melbourne’s laneways offer kale-munching hipsters a chance to feed their creative soul, or be ironic.
Melbourne’s laneways offer kale-munching hipsters a chance to feed their creative soul, or be ironic. Photo David Stuart

I LIKE my street art and I like to think that I can tell a Banksy from a Blek le Rat. It's no secret that Melbourne is a mecca when it comes to street art.

The colourful and gritty laneways often appear in advertising trying to allure crowds to Victoria's capital.

Going to discover the art is hardly an original idea and if you're going to venture into the labyrinth of lanes be prepared to bump into guided tour groups or hobbyist photographers clenching street-art maps. Okay, so I'm hardly a Richard Burton - in this particular case I'm referring to the explorer, but I'd be hard pressed to present myself as the actor either.

I've always believed that travel is more of an attitude than an act of travelling abroad. Some people say, 'oh look, I'd love to travel, but I just don't have the time or money,' but then they don't even know their own back yards. Have they climbed on their roof and enjoyed the view? Have they made a point to walk down every street in their suburb? Have they walked along the local creek? It's with this smug sense of self that I set out on my journey.

The first laneway I enter is in the heart of the CBD. I walk past people sipping on lattes at trendy cafes and set my eyes upon a group of misfit kids sitting cross-legged on the ground.

They are happy to talk to me. I see they've purchased some things from one of those shops that sell cheap imported products. They've bought novelty-sized playing cards, plastic gold coins and a tube of super glue. They are sticking the cards and coins to the wall. One young lady has super-glued a coin to her forehead. And one of them has glued a 50-cent piece to a ledge. They tell me they are waiting for somebody to try to pick it up. This is raw performance art that I'm witnessing - some next-level stuff that you won't find in a guidebook.

Follow David on Twitter: @bigkamo

Topics:  david stuart melbourne opinion street art why not try

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