Sunday, 27 April 2014

I Don't Love You (and other street art from my travels)

I've recently returned from a trip of a lifetime - visiting my twin sister in Melbourne Australia, followed by a few days in Sydney and quick stop off in Singapore. 

These three cities offered very different approaches to street art. In Melbourne graffiti is legal on certain buildings and artists can be seen at all times of the day practicing their work and creating unique pieces. In Sydney they are not quite so liberal but with the 2014 Biennial ongoing there was plenty of temporary works around the city. Singapore, renowned for its clean and sanitised appearance, is a place where street art or graffiti is almost unheard of, yet I still managed to find one piece that intrigued me. 

Melbourne Laneways:


While some pieces are complex, sometimes huge realistic portraits sprayed directly onto walls, some work, including many of those above, are obviously created elsewhere and pasted into position. The laneway below is used purely as a practice area and you could see half finished pieces, viewable in their entirity close by in adjacent laneways, scattered around the walls. 

Melbourne, Crown Casino:

Melbourne, National Gallery of Victoria:

Melbourne, St. Kilda: 

I didn't have as much time in Sydney, although I did enjoy my visit to the Museum of Contemporary Art and was lucky enough to stumble across a sculpture trail while visiting Scenic World while in the Blue Mountains.  However on the streets I saw just two pieces that I thought were exceptional, although I know little about them apart from what their visual appearance suggests. 

Sydney Habour Bridge Steps:

Potts Point:

In Singapore, I came across only one piece, although if you looked hard enough there were plenty of regular tags and graffiti scattered about. I suspect these stickers are related to this exhibition at the Singapore Art Museum, somewhere I didn't get chance to visit during my brief visit to the city. 

Finally I wanted to include something that isn't really street art, but simply a banner used in The Library of New South Wales. However it's use throughout the galleries is artistic in itself and deserves to be included: 

Maker Fair UK and Traveling Librarian

One of the things on my list for this year was to attend the Maker Fair UK 2014, partly because I've recently resubmitted my application for the Traveling Librarian award and partly for my own curiosity.  Unfortunately it turned out I was other wise engaged, specifically traveling on a 12 hour flight back from Singapore, so I missed out once again. 

However as always I followed the tweets and for my own satisfaction put together a brief Storify of some of the highlights. Okay, I've been selective, but I wanted to show the range of creating that happened at Maker Fair, both low and high tech. There were daleks, robots, vintage game consoles and automatic artists but also badge making and shadow puppets. I suppose I have my own agenda, looking as I am at 'Making' in libraries, but certainly many of the activities wouldn't be out of place on a young reader or childrens engagement program, if an authority had the resources and inclination.

Link to Maker Fair 2014 Storify (Selected Tweets)