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SALA Street Art Explosion Walking Tour

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by Michael Genrich (subscribe)
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The forefront of Adelaide street art
Adelaide street art just keeps gathering pace and gusto. SALA (South Australian Living Artists) Festival 'Street Art Explosion' commissioned a whole bunch of new projects for 2017 all around Adelaide and the Adelaide Hills. They're worth a look.

Following a link from my email, I booked for free and went along to the first of three Street Art Explosion walking tours hosted by Adelaide Fringe 2016 Creative Producer and Street Art Explosion 2017 Producer Julianne Pierce. Deep in the cold and windy lane ways of the city on a winter Saturday morning our group of 24 were joined by Dearna Newchurch (Adelaide Fringe Producer) and volunteers Jean and Alessandra.

street art, murals, laneways, adelaide, SALA 2017
Chesser Lane Murals

This tour begins in Chesser Lane in front of three huge murals painted on the back of the Coromandel Place substation. Julianne points out all the different forms street art takes in Adelaide. It's not just the commissioned murals...there's also graffiti walls, 'pasteups' which are the large pasted on posters found around the city, stickers (think the fringe festival furby), tiles, and works created in studios and hung on buildings. We were reminded to look up, and look down, as we walked. There's art in the strangest high places and way down low too...on walls and electricity boxes, down pipes...sometimes pasted on, stuck on, knitted, or stencilled on.

street art, murals, laneways, adelaide, SALA 2017
All types of street art in Chesser Lane and Coromandel Place.

The tour wanders off down Coromandel Place and heads for James Place. James Place has changed a lot and there are so many little stores and places to get great food! Let's face it, the public conveniences in James Place are a bit of an Adelaide night life icon. Look up and you'll see a piece by Ella aka InkandRubyStudios, part of YWCA's 'Rise Above the Pack' campaign. Hung right above the conveniences used by so many late-night revellers, it's an excellent campaign that sparks conversation about women's safety, gender equality and bystander intervention.

street art, murals, laneways, adelaide, SALA 2017
James Place, City - Ella aka InkandRubyStudios

Next stop is Gresham Street which is the little laneway running parallel to King William St from Hindley St to North Terrace. Gresham Street is another example of a city lane way being transformed into both an art gallery and a small food and bar precinct. Currently housing three small bars, it's planned to become a French style eating and drinking lane way. Check out the cute little French bar called…'La Buvette'.

street art, mural, adelaide, city, SALA,
Gresham Street, City.

Continuing along Hindley Street (remember to look up for some excellent art transforming old building facades) we pass through a small laneway in between the Laneway Bar and the Dog and Duck one of the murals there is a graffiti-esque style and long-established mural.

street art, murals, laneways, adelaide, SALA 2017
Two different styles in one small lane way.

Arriving on Morphett Street you can't miss the giant billboard style mural above the adult shop. It's a detailed and worthwhile piece created by local indigenous people and re-interprets the development of Adelaide through their eyes.

From here you can head toward North Terrace and check out the open graffiti wall underneath the Morphett Street bridge and the excellent murals created along the bridges side walls before you cross over to Hindley Street west to the little lane way into the carpark next to Jive nightclub. The work that adorns the front wall of Jive is an icon and even specially lit at night. Lisa King's work is all over town, not least of which is the giant mural of David Bowie at the Maid and Magpie Hotel in Kent Town, now recognized worldwide.

street art, murals, laneways, adelaide, SALA 2017
Lisa King - Jive Nightclub

The carpark behind Jive is another street art 'gallery' featuring all kinds of works from artists like Peter Drew, Fred Rock, and Toy Soldiers Crew. If you look closely, beyond, and behind, you'll spot quirky little pieces crammed into all sorts of spaces.

street art, murals, laneways, adelaide, SALA 2017
Look right into the details and you'll find art all around you.

The tour continues across Light Square (where I learned that Colonel Light is buried under his statue…in the middle of his square) to the Adelaide YHA on the corner of Waymouth Street and Eliza Street. Eliza Street is centred on a small bar called Mama Jambo whose owners have become curators of another street art 'gallery' featuring murals by Kenyan artists, along with plenty of pasteups and other curious pieces.

street art, murals, laneways, adelaide, SALA 2017
'Sanaa - A better world through creativity.' Eliza St, City.

We made our way back along Waymouth St to Topham Mall and Leigh Street. Topham Mall Carpark is a canvas for some dramatic and lofty pieces of street art. Lady Burra looks pretty awesome.

street art, murals, laneways, adelaide, SALA 2017
Topham Mall and Lady Burra

We take a short detour down a small laneway off Currie Street which houses Zhivago nightclub to see the somewhat 'trippy' works adorning the walls of the narrow lane.

street art, murals, laneways, adelaide, SALA 2017
Zhivago Laneway - Anthony Lister

The tour ends in Leigh Street. Amongst mouth-watering restaurants and bars like The Corner Bistrot, Casablabla, and udaberri. Art is everywhere's part of the unique ambience of Adelaide newest and coolest eat street.

street art, murals, laneways, adelaide, SALA 2017
Head down the little lane behind Casablabla...

Julianne said that 'Adelaide City Council are very supportive of street art and street artists' and it looks like the Adelaide street art scene is booming! On Sunday, we had breakfast at Hey Jupiter in Vardon Avenue and stumbled on a work in progress near East Terrace! On the SALA tour Julianne describes the culture of tagging and graffiti and how it feeds and respects the street art scene, 'tagging over a piece of street art is considered bad form', and 'if you do tag over someone's work you get ostracized in the community'.

People were saying they'd come back and do the tour again with more friends! So, the next two tours are booked out but Julianne said the tour can take up to thirty it's likely you'll get a spot if you just rock up.

Check out the times and download a map here to take the tour yourself, or find street art in your suburb. It took our tour just over an hour and half. If you do it self-guided, do it with friends and leave time to stop at one of the cool cafe's, restaurants, and bars along the way.
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Why? Watch a burgeoning art evolve.
When: Now, and self-guided anytime.
Where: Adelaide
Cost: Free
Your Comment
What an interesting tour to do, Michael - congrats on the
by Elaine (score: 3|6760) 829 days ago
Would love to check these out, thanks for the info Michael!
by Paula McManus (score: 3|3411) 828 days ago
Excellent article.Adelaide is now becoming a top spot for street art..making this city surprising and interesting,more so than before.The artists who create these works have maintained a high standard and are to be congratulated.
by noelp (score: 3|1199) 821 days ago
by Michael Genrich (score: 3|1569) 828 days ago
by Michael Genrich (score: 3|1569) 828 days ago
Hi, can anyone tell me how long this walking tour takes. Thanks janice
by je.ja (score: 0|2) 823 days ago
Foodi Photoh Classie
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