Graffiti is thought of by some as vandalism, but by others as urban art. Whether you agree or not, “street art” as it’s now commonly called has become a movement that has caught the attention of the international art world. Top UK street artist, Banksy, has sold for over £200,000 at auction, prompting his stencil in a Melbourne laneway to gain a protective plastic cover. (Although it wasn’t enough to keep someone from tipping silver paint between the cover and the wall and scrawling Banksy woz ere, ironically vandalising the “vandalism”).
Sydney has some pretty impressive street artists as well, though there are few public canvases for them to utilise as the councils are generally pretty quick to “clean-up”. One place that proudly displays its graf is May’s Lane in St Peters – an outdoor street art gallery. The exhibition space consists of the outer wall of a building and five large panels hung in the wall’s window spaces. Every month several artists are invited to use the entire exhibition space; at the end of the month only the panels are kept and the rest is painted over.
This exhibition space may be on the street but it is a bone fide gallery complete with openings, launches and works for sale. It’s located near St Peters station on May Lane (off May Street) and is, of course, open 24 hours. In fact, this may be the only gallery in Sydney you can visit in the middle of the night! Visit the May's Lane website for more information.