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Published February 7th 2013
Melbourne's most expansive gallery
You might not have thought of this before, but when you ride on the 86 tram you are passing through Melbourne's largest open-air art gallery. There is arguably more street art per kilometre, along the way than anywhere else in Melbourne. Certainly more than you would find in any gallery.
Fitzroy Gertrude Street
Most of us are oblivious to all of this beauty because we are so busy texting or dozing behind newspapers or even closed lids.
But thankfully Kevin Anslow took the time, not only to keep his eyes open, but to record the artworks along the way.
He got off the tram and took photos and recorded the creativity as it was on the day he was there.
Because much of the art work, which sometimes get lumped under the heading of graffiti, is "here today and gone tomorrow" - or should one say it becomes a layer upon which the next up and coming Banksy will set to work.
Act of creation
This is perhaps one of the frustrations, but also one of the charms of such art.
They are the modern day version of the palimpsest. Or in other words, the ancient tablets or parchments which were so precious that a layer would be removed and then rewritten over.
Then he came up with a fantastic website that showcases all this art. It is really a labour of love as he has done all the work for you. Each section is organised by suburb, with tram stop and map locations noted. All you have to do is follow and be amazed.
With Kevin's permission I have included some of the images he has taken below. I have also provided an example of one of the maps on his site so you can get a taste of the process.
It is simple. Next time you are travelling on the 86 tram route through suburbs such as Fitzroy, Collingwood, Clifton Hill, Northcote and Thornbury download or print out one of his maps. Get off, have an explore and then get back on.
Or alternatively you could use a tablet
Or if you are a tourist or local with some free time on your hands there is enough material on his website to make the journey into a half or even full day excursion. Given the 86 starts in Docklands and makes its way to Bundoora, there are also plenty of tourist sites along the way.
You will gain so much from your brush with creativity. As well as perhaps fulfilling your health professional's orders of walking a few blocks every day.