What You Need To Know About Sydney Street Art
While Sydney might not be the first place you think of when it comes to street art, the scene there is huge. Between talented artists and spaces to cater for them, there’s a lot of creativity in the city. Take a look into the street art Sydney is producing.
A Brief History
Although New York had a few years of a head start, Sydney street art wasn’t far behind. The graffiti scene in the city goes back to the late seventies. Unlike New York, a lot of the history here has been preserved. You can find pieces from the early eighties that are still in great condition minus a little weathering.
Artists like Peter Day’s murals captured artistic styles from Australia and incorporated them into their street art.
Sydney University Graffiti Tunnel
The Graffiti Tunnel is the graf equivalent of a message board. Since the Vietnam War the tunnel has been a place for students and others to express their feelings through scrawled political messages. It’s evolved over the years into a place where anyone can tag what they want. It’s not a place for pieces that you expect to hang around for long. It’s best seen as a place to see what styles of street art Sydney is being dominated by at a given time.
Newtown is Sydney’s biggest street art hub. Over the years a lot of talented Australian and International artists have made their mark on the area. Newtown is mural central so you won’t find much bombing here. The murals themselves come from so many artists and collectives that everything is hugely different.
There’s a distinct boundary in Newtown between the Marrickville and City Of Sydney councils. It’s a difficult situation with one council supporting Sydney street art and the other opposing it in all but a few scenarios. The result is a very clear division in the borderline of the city.
Big City Freaks
Since 1998, the members of Big City Freaks have been a big part of the the street art scene in Sydney. Pudl, Zen, Skull McMurphy, Set and Snarl have collaborated on work to develop an eclectic style mixing graphic elements and tagging. Their work mashes the tags and lettering that were popular when they started out in the 90s with modern graphic styles.
Unmitigated Audacity Productions
Named after the Zappa bootleg, UAP have been a sight in the world of Sydney street art for about thirty years now. Most of the murals created by the group when they worked in the 90s have either been demolished or covered but the legacy is still there.
Of the three members; Juliee Pryor, Matthew Peet and Andrew Aiken, it’s Aiken who has been the most proliferant. He spearheaded or collaborated on a huge amount of pieces in around Sydney.
Along with the mural spots in Newtown and the University Graffiti Tunnel, May Lane is one of the best places to find street art. There’s a constant updating of the pieces there from established and underground artists.