is a girl-about-town and general, adventurous, know-it-all.
Published October 13th 2011
The Charles Street Artist's Market
It's an odd spectacle to see the coloured bunting and paper lanterns festooned above the grungy courtyard out the back of a local pub, but then again the merge of dilapidated architecture with hand-made decorative touches is typical of Brunswick's style. So is the intimate and eclectic mix that you'll find at this market, which has been set up so that Brunswick's bohemian crowd can purvey their wares.
Housing an unusual mix of goods, among the stalls you will discover bold, sprayed, street-art style canvases, wallets; hand-stitched from salvaged and recycled materials and dip-dyed clothing with lace and tulle embellishments. There are quirky products also, like the locally crafted resin brooches that are cast into the shape of chocolate frogs or the aromatic candles set into vintage glassware.
The market is held on the last Sunday of every month from 11am – 4pm and can be found at the back of the Sports Hotel in Charles Street, Brunswick (entry via Weston Street). You might not need directions though, because the wafting smell of the market's freshly roasted peanuts and macadamias is likely to lead you there anyway.
Live music is performed throughout the day and the acoustic instruments give the whole event a very laid back feel. Many of the artists work on their pieces while sitting at the stalls, so you might be entertained by people knitting, planting seedlings or spray painting as you wander about.
The market's organisers have put in a great effort to provide entertainment for youngsters and to inspire their creativity. There are scatter cushions are thrown about an arts play space and brushes and paints set up for kids to use. There's also the interesting idea of reverse busking where the children can perform a short act and the stallholder will reward them with a small donation.
The Charles Street Artist's Market adds a new flavour to Melbourne's already vibrant market scene. It's more dreadlocks, fisherman's pants and nouveau hippy, than others you will find and at this market, it would be perfectly acceptable not to wear shoes.
As it doesn't take long to investigate the twenty or so stalls in the space, for a full morning out it would be a good idea to team your visit to the Charles Street Artist's Market with breakfast at the nearby Green Refectory Cafe or with the intention of relaxing the afternoon away in the front bar of the Sports Hotel. Also, at the time of this review's publication, the market was just getting off the ground so before planning a trip there, it would be a good idea to check their website for confirmation.
To get to Charles Street, travel on the Number 19 North Coburg tram and stroll along Weston street from Sydney Road. If you prefer the train, catch one travelling out of the city on the Upfield train and walk to the market from Jewell station.
Well done to the Charles Street Artist's Market organisers for giving Melbourne something new.