Deep in the guts and gizzards of Melbourne, dozens of busy little street mice stencil and spray, stealthily adorning the walls of the city's hidden streets and unmarked lane ways with their priceless works of art.
Fitzroy is the raw, edgy face of Melbourne and it is a street art bonanza. Between Wellington & Brunswick Street, simply roaming the streets is like walking through the Exhibition Centre on street art day.
I spent half the day wandering through the region, scouring every nook and cranny, searching for all the pieces of my own personal free exhibit. I shrieked with delight (my husband's ears will attest to my sporadic shrieks of glee) every time another brightly painted lane-way twinkled at me from afar, beckoning me to come and gaze upon its secrets.
I'm tempted to just tell you to head to the Fitzroy region and wander about yourself to find your own personal street art aventure, but I suppose I wouldn't be a proper reviewer if I didn't at least nudge you in the right direction and give you a few tips and hints.
Chapel off Johnston St holds some gorgeous pieces which will leave you wondering where people find the time and energy to create such elaborate works of art. Chapel Street is also the home to funky Juddy Roller cafe which fits right in on the street art scene.
Inner Workings of the Mind on Chapel off Johnston St
Even the Johnson Street Vet has a collection of weird and wonderful animals painted on it's walls. These include a zebra with a winding key for a tail, an emotionally challenged sparrow and of course some flying pigs.
Some pieces were so exquisite, I couldn't help but momentarily wish they could be protected and immortalised in museums and exhibitions so they wouldn't be painted over and destroyed. This thought was quickly replaced by another: much like wild animals in captivity, they belong in the wild and observing them in their natural environment is far more awe-inspiring than locking them away for convenience.
Truly, there is a thrilling sensation I find on the streets that cannot be matched by any museum or exhibit, and it wont cost you a penny. There are no crowds to fight, and no snooty assistant shaking their finger in your face when you pull out a camera.
Personally, I probably wouldn't wander the streets alone because truth-be-told, you will come across a couple of fairly sketchy places where you may want to hold a hand, but let this deter you by no means.