City based Hosier Lane, opposite Federation Square is one of the most visited laneways in the city, attracting tourists, school groups, photographers, documentary makers and music video directors to its rapidly changing street art coating the area. Nevertheless, Hosier Lane merely scratches the surface of Melbourne's street art movement, as the city boasts some of the largest, most prolific street art scenes in the world.
It is possible to self-guide your way through the city's grand-scale urban art spread throughout the city, but if you would like to delve deep into the world of Melbourne’s edgy street art scene, a guided tour with Melbourne Street Art Tours would be suggested. Melbourne Street Art Tours is the first and only walking tour of its kind, run by practising street artists for a group of between 3 - 12 participants.
As you book yourself on a Melbourne Street Art Tour, you will be given directions to meet your street artist tour guide and the rest of your group at 7-eleven in Federation Square. After a brief introduction, you will be off to explore Melbourne's urban jungle over the course of 2 ½ hours as you take a journey into the soul of the art and culture capital of Australia.
Taking a tour with a guide involved with the street art movement uncovers hidden treasures that other tours fail to find. Soon you will start to recognise the works of some of the most famous street artists in the world as your guide will not only point out who they are but explain the significant role they have had in making Melbourne one of the most important global destinations for street art.
As you work your way through Victoria's cultural capital, you may stumble upon brand new works of art and possibly observe artwork in progress as your guide explains the technical aspects involved in street art stretching far further than aerosol graffiti. From spray painting, stencil art, paste-ups, sculpture and even fire hose painting, Melbourne's edgy art scene is open for interpretation and discussion, with many pieces focused on current social and political opinion.
As Melbourne pride's itself as the art and cultural capital of Australia, some of the art seen scattered throughout the city has been the result of commercially commissioned pieces, your guide will point out which pieces they are and explain the impact that commercial public art has on today's street artists.
As you walk through your tour, it is likely you will leave tourists behind as your guide takes your group to hidden laneways and arcades to discover some of the most interesting street art in the city. Look closely and you might just spot one of the few original Bansky’s left in Melbourne after his last Australian visit in 2003.
As you come to the end of your walking tour thinking you've seen all there is to see, think again. Melbourne Street Art Tours wraps up by a visit to the famous Blender Studios, where your group will get explore the studios and the gallery (Dark Horse Experiment) directed by Adrian Doyle. Here you will meet street and fine artists, and get a feel for what it is to be a practising artist. See artists in action as you chat over a cold beer or a glass of wine. Your tour wraps up at 4:30pm as you go home with a far greater understanding and appreciation for the magnitude of talent behind Melbourne’s street art culture.
Melbourne Street Art Tours run on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday afternoons and run for 3 hours. The cost of a tour is $69pp which includes beer or wine or non-alcohol drink with a cheese platter at Blender Studio's, and a gift bag to take home. Believe me when I say, you will never look at graffiti in the same way again.
Blender's Studio, Melbourne CBD
Blender's Studio, Melbourne CBD