Ur­ban art is mak­ing its mark around the world

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - Escape - - WISH LIST URBAN ADVENTURES - CHRIS­TINE RETSCHLAG


The largest and most con­tro­ver­sial can­vas in the world was un­doubt­edly the Ber­lin Wall upon which graf­fiti art be­gan ap­pear­ing in the 1980s when the wall was raised to 4.2m. Artists from around the world flocked to West Ber­lin to tag the Wall, while the for­bid­den East Ber­lin side re­mained blank. While al­most the en­tire Wall has been re­moved, vis­i­tors can still view seg­ments at Pots­damer Platz, the East Side Gallery, and Ber­nauer Strasse. Best precincts for spot­ting graf­fiti art in­clude Kreuzberg, Friedrichshain and Mitte. This September, Ber­lin will open a street art/ur­ban art mu­seum called Ur­ban Na­tion aimed at show­cas­ing ur­ban con­tem­po­rary art. Join Al­ter­na­tive Ber­lin Tours, which of­fer street art tours plus work­shops.



Canada’s most mul­ti­cul­tural city is also home to the most es­tab­lished street art in the coun­try. And you don’t have to wander far from down­town to find it. Sprout­ing a name like Graf­fiti Al­ley, there’s plenty of ur­ban art to en­joy in this com­pact kilo­me­tre of colour. Some at­tribute the ex­plo­sion of graf­fiti art to the cal­i­bre of cre­atives who are drawn to Toronto. Even Bri­tain’s se­cret scrib­bler Banksy has con­trib­uted to a few pieces on build­ings around town here. Also check out Kens­ing­ton Mar­ket, Oss­ing­ton and Chi­na­town. Take a free walk­ing tour of the main graf­fiti hot spots with the Tour Guys or a street art and street food tour with Food­ies on Foot.



Boast­ing more ma­jor mu­rals than any­where else in the south­ern hemi­sphere, Christchurch’s street art story is a ru­ins-to-riches tale. In 2011, an earth­quake dev­as­tated much of this New Zealand city, but it is now emerg­ing as a global street art leader. Ex­pat English­man George Shaw, who owns one of the largest col­lec­tions of works by Bri­tain’s Banksy, cu­rated a ma­jor ex­hi­bi­tion fea­tur­ing in­ter­na­tional street artists in 2015/16 and the city is now home to al­most 50 ma­jor mu­rals. Check out the Can­ter­bury De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion Build­ing here. Also visit The Auri­cle at 35 New Re­gent St, Aus­trala­sia’s only sound art gallery, which com­bines sound, move­ment and light. Watch This Space: Christchurch Street Art, is a new in­ter­ac­tive map fea­tur­ing a large se­lec­tion of ur­ban art.



Men­tion Melbourne and street art im­me­di­ately springs to mind as this is Aus­tralia’s cap­i­tal of cool. With its labyrinth of laneways, streets, fa­cades and venues within one city block, you can ex­pe­ri­ence a ca­coph­ony of colour. Even its ac­claimed bars, restau­rants and ho­tels are in on the scene, sport­ing mul­ti­coloured mu­rals, art work, pro­jec­tions and sound. Check out the Rose Street Mar­ket with its ev­er­chang­ing wall de­signs. Other pop­u­lar spots in­clude Hosier and Rut­ledge lanes, Union Lane, De­graves St and Cen­tre Place. Be sure to visit the con­tro­ver­sial “bo­gan wall” along Fitzroy’s Bruns­wick St, which de­picts an over­weight man drink­ing beer and smok­ing. Join Melbourne Street Tours, the first and only one of their kind to be run by street artists in Aus­tralia.


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