When you think of graffiti and/or street art hubs in Australia, its likely that Melbourne City is the first that comes to mind. However, if you are a graffiti and street art fanatic located in Brisbane like me, don't fret if you don't have the spare cash lying around to fund a spontaneous trip down to Melbourne - there's plenty of good ones here, as long as you know where to look. This article will cover a selection of my favourite pieces, but in no way does it encompass all that Brisbane has to offer. I have also tried to present them in a logical order as much as possible, but keep in mind that this might differ depending on where your original starting point is.
1. James Street, Fortitude Valley a) 56 James Street
There's something satisfying about a piece of art so simple that you feel like you could do it yourself, yet at the same time know its a lot harder than it looks! I could look at this piece for days, there's so much detailed entwined in the simple white lines on a black background. Particularly loving the frog and the crocodile!
b) 49 James Street (behind Jamie's Espresso)
The Quick Brown Fox Jumps Over The Lazy Dog (aka Eddy)
The driveway behind Jamie's Espresso is a dream come true for graffiti enthusiasts - there's so much to look at, I reckon you could stay here for hours and still be able to find small details you had previously missed!
I cannot stress enough how much I love Fintan Magee's art - a quick Google search will show you why! Fintan Magee is also the artist who depicted the group of foxes in West End (number 11 on this list).
The upside down man (by Fintan Magee) is easy enough to find, nestled in an industrial street. However, I'm not sure why but I could not find Wickham Grove using either my GPS, my iPhone, or my friend's Android... It's only a 2 minute walk from the upside down man though - continue down the street and turn left onto Wickham Grove, then the destination is on your left. It was well worth the effort I put in to find it!
5. Mitchelton Park, Mitchelton
A dashshund stealing food from an unsuspecting lady.. or in other words, a sausage dog stealing sausages?.
This piece is located in the space between the male and female toilets - luckily no one was there when we went, as it might have gotten a bit weird! I had a bit of an internal debate whether or not to include this, because of its location, but I decided to include it seeing as Eddy absolutely loves food and would do anything to get his little paws on some (stealing included)!
I didn't expect to find any street art, let alone such cool pieces, on a residential street. Fun fact: Caxton Street is mentioned in the song "Brisbane (Security City)" by The Saints in 1978!
7. Given Terrace, Paddington
a) 166 Given Terrace, Paddington
There was quite a number of cockatoos along this stretch of wall, but I have only captured 2 here because Eddy didn't stay still for long enough for me to take a panorama shot - he ended up with multiple heads when I tried!
I drive past this this amazing piece every time I head to the office for meetings, but never actually stopped and admired it until today. Its one of the bigger pieces of street art - I wonder how long it took for the artist(s) to complete it?
9. Boundary Street Markets, West End
I'm definitely more of a dog person than a cat one, but I have to (grudgingly) admit this was pretty cool, if not a bit scary and intimidating! I wonder if the artist intentionally left a space for people to stand (where we are) to pose for photos... what do you think?
This is probably one of Brisbane's most well-known and most photographed piece of graffiti. I personally think it is well worth the hype - its simple yet classic. Best of all, some kind soul has placed a flat rock on the floor, positioned perfectly in the middle such that if you stand on the rock, you will be 'wearing' the wings properly. Thank you!
Fun fact: did you know a group of foxes is called a lead/leash/skulk of foxes? I certainly didn't! This piece here, by the one and only Fintan Magee, was absolutely beautiful, especially considering the number of wild foxes that choose to live in solitary. The only drawback of this masterpiece is its location, as there is a tree directly in front, meaning that I could only take photos from the side - pictures of art always look best if the photographer is directly in front. Another fun fact is that these foxes are only one street away from Whynot St - Whynot take a photo there too?
All the walls of this carpark was filled with art - however, it was a bit dark so I didn't get to photograph all of them. They're all a bit on the alternative side, and I would definitely find the car park scary if I visited late at night! Despite this, I thought it was great - there aren't too many places like this around in Brisbane.
b)296 Montague Road, West End (outside Frank's Seafood)
Outside Frank's Seafood, a wholesale distributor (open to the public).
I actually came here to see an art piece depicting a lady blowing bubbles, but I was blown away by these (very realistic) paintings of fish, and forgot to take a photo! The lady can be found just opposite Frank's Seafood, at the corner of Ashington Street and Montague Road, West End.
13. Vulture Street, West End
a) 85 Vulture Street, West End (on the left of Miss Bliss Whole Foods Kitchen)
I tried to take a panoramic shot, but Eddy ended up with multiple heads yet again - had no choice but to take 2 separate shots instead.
52 Vulture Street in West End is a cool driveway that has heaps of different pieces of art - pictured here are just 2 of my favourite pieces. Parking may be a pain at times, but having art like this in the driveway must certainly make it more bearable for those lucky duckies who get to park here!
14. Corner of Princhester Street and Vulture Street, West End
A whole heap of random things, but somehow it all goes together nicely.
This piece was actually at a train station - not sure if pets were allowed (just on the platform) but we got the go ahead from a nice staff member. Thank you! We took a quick photo and left before we caused any inconveniences - the shot turned out great though, surprisingly!
As you can most likely tell from the frequent appearance of my little pug, I am obsessed with pugs. So here are three freebies in case there are any other pug lovers like me out there...
Even without the cute little pug sticker with a crown emoji, this art piece might well still have made it to my top 20, as it has an animal balloon in my favourite colour (anyone else here reliving their childhood as I speak?). However, for me, the highlight of this piece is definitely the pug, even though its likely that the sticker wasn't even put there by the original artist!
Well, this is technically not in Brisbane but its only a 2 hour drive away. I went to Toowoomba back in September 2015 for the Flower Festival, and decided to do some graffiti hunting there. I wasn't expecting to find anything pug related at all, but boy was I glad I did! It definitely was the highlight of my trip, much to my friend's amusement (and frustration).
Note: the photos from Boundary Street Markets West End were taken on a different day to the rest of the photos (bar the last 3), but this could all be done in one day. The only reason why I didn't stop at Boundary Street Markets today was because I already had photos from a previous day. The whole trip, starting from the southside, took me about 7 hours (including a stop at Kettle and Tin in Paddington for brunch). Today was a tiring day but at the same time, it was really fun.
Which art piece is your favourite? Which ones have you seen or would like to see? Feel free to leave comments, especially if you have troubles finding any of the art pieces, and I will try my best to help you out. Thank you for sticking with me through such a long article!