Friday, 12 August 2016

Street Art in Sydney, Australia

Street art in Sydney
Each year Sydney's Inner West Council hosts a celebration of street art called Perfect Match. The council matches up owners of walls in need of beautifying with artists who express themselves through the use of spray paint and brushes.

 As well as brightening up the neighbourhood, Perfect Match hosts free walking, bicycle and bus tours allowing onlookers to view the art as it is being created, meet the artists while they work and see some of the finished works. David and I were due to join a bicycle tour to do just that last weekend. However living in a city with one of the world's best climates we tend to be very fickle about the weather. If  the temperature drops a few degrees lower than perfect, or there are a couple of clouds on the horizon, David declares the day ruined. With wind and rain forecast on the day of our street art cycling tour, we abandoned the idea and stayed home. As it turned out, the sun came out around midday and the afternoon weather was lovely but how we were to know that.

I wasn't going to miss the street art entirely though. Yesterday we took a train to Newtown and went exploring on our own. In the process I learned a few things: -

  • Printing a coloured map off the internet with a black and white printer doesn't really work. Actually I already knew this but it didn't stop me trying - again, and again! What was it Einstein said about the definition of insanity: 'Doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result.' 
  • Google maps is a very useful tool - if you can get the hang of it. If not, it has a tendency to send you in completely the wrong direction. Which way is north again?
  • Distances seem a lot greater when you are walking. Next time we're taking our bikes.
  • Street art can be elusive. It is surprisingly easy to walk straight past it without knowing it's there. More than once we had to double back because we failed to turn around and look at a wall whose display was hidden from view in the direction we were walking.
  • Spending the day playing tourist in your own backyard can be a lot of fun. The Inner West of Sydney is so different from our leafy, open-spaced sheltered environment on the North Shore, it could almost be a different planet.

I also learned that street art in Sydney is as vibrant and interesting as anywhere in the world. Here are some of the murals we saw. There are many, many more we didn't get to.

Street art in Sydney
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Street art in Sydney

Street art in Sydney

Street art in Sydney


Street art in Sydney

Street art in Sydney

Street art in Sydney

Street art in Sydney

Street art in Sydney

Street art in Sydney

Street art in Sydney


Street art in Sydney

Street art in Sydney


Street art in Sydney


Street art in Sydney

Street art in Sydney

Street art in Sydney

Street art in Sydney

Street art in Sydney


Tips and tricks and things to know: - 

  • Click - here - to download a map of street art in Sydney's Inner West council area.
  • Click - here - for information on street art in the City of Sydney council area.

I am not the only Sydney Travel Blogger who loves street art. For street art posts by a few of my blogger friends see the links below - 

If you enjoyed this post, you might also like - The Murals of Valparaiso

Next Friday/Saturday The Travelling Lindfields will return to the USA with the final post in our series on Historic Houses and Gardens. After that I intend to catch up on some of those cycle path posts I promised weeks ago. Then it's off to Western Australia for this year's wildflower season.

I publish a new post every Thursday/Friday (depending on your time zone). If you want to follow our travels check back each week or enter your email address in the 'Follow this blog by email' box in the right hand sidebar just below my profile picture.


57 comments:

  1. Wow Lyn you certainly covered a lot of ground. I went on the official walk on Sunday but I think you may have actually walked quite a bit further than we did! I love Fintan Magee's work the best but the new by Ox King (your last pic) is really beautiful

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    1. I thought they were all fabulous. We saw so many but missed a lot too. My favourite is the one I used right at the beginning, next to the first paragraph.

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  2. I just love street art Lyn, and these are amazing.

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    1. David and I seek out street art wherever we go - well I do and David tolerates it. It was great to discover some of the best in our own back yard.

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  3. Love that tiger! Roars to you!

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    1. My favourite is the outer space lady, but the tiger is pretty good too.

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  4. We live right near a lot of those above. My favs in Sydney are the Adnate's in Central Park. That new one heading into Darling Harbour is pretty amazing too...

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    1. I will have to have a look for the Darling Harbour mural - not sure I have seen it. The zebra was tucked away at the end of a lane. I can't remember the name of the street but I will ask D when he gets up. He may know.

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  5. Thank is some of the more impressive street art I've seen -- and not graffitied over. Love the zebra!

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    1. The zebra seems to be a bit of a favourite. He is cute!

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  6. A fabulous collection of colourful and charismatic street art Lyn. I like the girl with the long flowing hair - she is understated but beautiful. Love the colourful ones too! :)

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    1. The girl may have been a commercial mural. She was painted on the side of a hair dressing salon, but she looked so lovely I wanted to include her anyway.

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  7. Lyn what astounding street art! I especially love the zebra with head out of the curtain. It looks as though the might just walk right out. I chuckled at the aversion to the drop in temperature by a few degrees and a forecast of showers. As you know here we would rarely ever leave the house by those standards. :)

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    1. Haha - I don't think D and I would cope very well in Canada. We loved it in summer but winter might just about finish us off.

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  8. Fantastic street art! It has such vibrant colors and striking images. I have to admit, I have accidentally walked right past some great street art as well, especially when you're trying to get somewhere and there are other distractions in the city.

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    1. Walking past street art without knowing it is there is one thing but what I really hate is driving past a great mural and not being able to stop and take a photo.

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  9. Lyn I saw this post yesterday and was hoping you'd post it on #TheWeeklyPostcard as I'm a huge fan of street art. Now I'll know exactly where to find your post next time I'm in Sydney so I can check it out in person. When you're in Perth next month I'd love to show you some of ours in Fremantle (you may have seen my post a while ago?)

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    1. I read your blog regularly but I think I missed the street art in Fremantle post. We may have been travelling when you published it. I miss a lot when we are travelling. I am off to have a look at it now though, thanks. Maybe we might get to meet in person. Jen Seligmann is trying to organise a Perth bloggers get together while D and I am in town.

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  10. Those artworks are simply astounding!

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    1. My photography is pretty good too - don't you think! - lol.

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  11. I love to see street art and I think the town of Sydney copes best with the sprayers / artists. Beautiful! #Wkendtravelinspiration

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    1. I love street art but I detest tags and graffiti - it is a pity that these streets with such beautiful works also had so many awful tags and scribbles.

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  12. Such fabulous street art! Where do you guys find these places? I traveled to so many countries and never seem to encounter such beautiful drawings. Thanks for joining us for #TheWeeklyPostcard, Lyn.

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    1. I have lived in Sydney almost my whole life and I didn't know the street art was there until a fellow Sydney travel blogger mentioned the Perfect Match festival in a Facebook group we are both members of. I always google street art now though in cities we visit. I have found beautiful street art in some of the most unlikely places.

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  13. I love street art. Sydney's looks amazing.

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    1. I suspect the street art in this post only just scratches the surface. I saw a superb mural yesterday only a few kilometres from where I live.

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  14. I'm always in awe of amazing street art because it's basically considered vandalism and is illegal almost everywhere here in Singapore. These are incredible! I think my personal favourites here are the zebra (so lifelike!) and the genie from Aladdin, one of my favourite characters from that movie.

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    1. I have a friend who lives in Singapore and he has told me that graffiti is punished very severely. Personally, I detest graffiti and I think we need to do more to combat it here in Sydney. Some suburbs are just covered in it. Street art, on the other hand, brightens up an area. Most, if not all, of the murals I have photographed were legal. I refrained from photographing graffiti tags because I didn't want to give them any legitimacy. I even cut a few out of one of the murals which had been tagged after it was painted.

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  15. I really enjoy finding street art when I travel, and I'm so glad I live in a city that hosts the largest international art competition in the world because Grand Rapids, MI, USA, is now full of large sculptures and street art. The flamingo and zebra murals are my favorites of the street art you shared from Sydney. I should do a post on the street art I've found during my travels or even in my city sometime. What a great idea you've had for a post! #WeekendWanderlust

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    1. Some of the best street art I have ever seen has been in small towns in the U.S. We did a road trip once from Denver to the Great Lakes and saw tons of beautiful murals. If you do do a street art post, tag me on social media so I don't miss it.

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  16. I am a big fan of street art so really enjoyed your blog. You have some great pictures, will have to check out the other posts that you recommended. #theweeklypostcard

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    1. You will find lots of other murals in the posts I have linked too.

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  17. What a great collection of street art. I am totally into street art lately and enjoy the differences between the different countries where it is allowed.

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    1. I have been a fan for years, ever since we visited Valparaiso which has spectacular street art.

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  18. Great street art - even being a Sydneysider did not realise that this was a great event to see.

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    1. Neither did I until a fellow member of Sydney Travel Bloggers mentioned it, but I will make it a regular must-do from now on.

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  19. Wow, very cool stuff! Love the zebra coming through the curtain.
    BTW, we have discovered this to almost always be a true statement.
    •Distances seem a lot greater when you are walking. Next time we're taking our bikes.

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    1. Haha - almost, but not always. When the track degenerates so much you are actually carrying your bikes it might be quicker to walk!

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  20. I was just there the other day taking photos. Some of them are so vibrant and bold

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  21. Perfect Match is a wonderful idea. And, it is art not just graffiti putting a gang name on the wall.

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    1. There is a complete difference between graffiti tags and street art. I detest graffiti and love street art.

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  22. I enjoyed the street art of Sydney, most especially that bird head.

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    1. Actually it was a whole bird but I couldn't photograph the body without a street sign getting in the way so I just shot the head.

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  23. It's hard for me to pick a favorite as I like so many of them. I would love to watch the artist a work and see how these pieces are created.

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    1. You'll just have to come to see for next year's festival and see the artists at work then!

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  24. The street art in Sydney is great. It reminds me of our Mural Arts program in Philadelphia for inner city kids. We are planning our big trip in 2017 for Australia. While we won't be there in August, we hope the murals will be there in March/April when we visit.

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    1. The Perfect Match festival only goes for a week or so but the art is permanent. I am sure it will still be there.

      If you have any questions when you are planning your trip drop me an email. My address is in the contacts section here. I love helping people get the most out of their travels. You could also have a look at the site of a friend of mine - it is called sydneyexpert.com. She has loads of information on what to do in Sydney.

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  25. My favourite piece is the Angry Bird there :) I am amazed at the talent of these street artists.

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    1. The bird is running a close second to the zebra as everyone's favourite.

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  26. How cool! Didn't see any in Sydney...

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  27. I love street art and it seems like Sydney has some beauties! I've posted a few of these to my Pinterest Street Art board.

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    1. I am not sure if I follow your board. I will pop over and have a look and definitely follow it if I don't already. I also have a board dedicated to street art but there isn't much on it yet.

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  28. I love street art. These are all really terrific pieces. Some of them are just stunning.

    We have enjoyed playing tourist as well since we moved back home. Its fun to find new things and explore with a new view of our city.

    Great post Lyn!

    Lisa @ LTTL

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    1. Thank you. I look forward to reading posts about your home city.

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