I am a stay at home mum trying to be a freelance writer - or a freelance writer trying to be a stay at home mum. I enjoy getting out and about with my two little girls and am Chief Editor of Perth Mums Group perthmumsgroup.com.au
Published September 9th 2020
A fun tour of Perth's hidden and not-so-hidden works of art
When you think of Perth, street art is not something that pops to mind. Melbourne, yes of course - with its incredible artworks, murals and sculptures dotted throughout the city - but Perth, hmm - not so. But like me, you probably just didn't know where to look.
I'm not one for venturing down dingy city laneways or behind buildings on my own, so until now, have been missing out on a truly colourful side of the city that I never knew existed.
I recently joined local walking tour company Oh Hey WA on a Perth Street Art and Sculpture Tour and was introduced to the city's stunning mix of street art - some completely obvious, some hidden in plain sight and some located down laneways, off the beaten track.
Starting at Yagan Square, Emma and I were introduced to Oh Hey WA founder, tour guide and Perth enthusiast extraordinaire Adie, and our fellow tour attendees. Adie has a heap of experience as a tour guide, and clearly loves what she does, so you can't help but feel her passion for the artwork, its history, and for the city itself - if you don't already, of course!
Perth Street Art and Sculpture Tour incorporates artwork by Aboriginal, local and international artists. A large part of Perth's street art is inspired by Western Australia's Noongar heritage, starting with Wirin, the nine-metre, bronze sculpture that embodies the spirit and culture of the Noongar people at Yagan Square, along with the Digital Tower.
Over at Kings Square, the stunning Koorden sculptures have been built purposely for visitors to touch, peer through the masks and for children to climb on.
You will see and learn about the most obvious works of art in Perth, such as the 'Cactus' (you will learn its real name, too) and those that you have probably walked past, but never noticed.
Adie will talk you through 'Forgotten Spaces' a City of Perth project dedicated to making those narrow, uninviting laneways into colourful spaces through commissioned artworks, purposely cobbled pathways and nighttime lighting to draw you in.
From large-scale murals by local and international artists to tiny mosaics, CBD store windows and even underground art - there is something to learn from every piece, such as the techniques used and history behind the art. Adie can give you a few facts about Perth's artwork, but the interpretation depends entirely on you.
You may have visited the popular nightspot Wolf Lane for a few drinks, but the artwork is something else. As Perth's biggest hubs for street art, it's worth a visit during the day for its giant, insanely creative pieces of art, and the ones you would never even know are there.
My favourite part of the tour was a trip down Prince Lane, which connects Murray Street to Wellington Street. Although a bit unkempt in places, the nod to fashion through the ages took me back to some of the familiar patterns from my childhood. My daughter's favourite part was a painting of Toastface Grillah (yes, the toastie place.) Always thinking about food. Still, she got home and started painting, so I think the colours and shapes inspired her to get creative.
Perth Street Art and Sculpture Tour will take you through Perth and Northbridge at a leisurely pace. It is 3km in length and will take about 2 hours. It was really easy to navigate with a pram and children are most welcome! The cost is $40 per person, $36 for concessions, $10 for children aged 4 to 16 years and children under 4 are free.
As we walked through the CBD when the tour had ended, I couldn't help but spot other pieces of art I'd never seen before. The Perth Street Art and Sculpture Tour will open your eyes to a different side of the city, and help you appreciate the stories behind the creativity that lives here.