I saw some of my favourite artworks of 2012 not in galleries but painted on and glued to the walls and posts of West End.
While street art is, by its nature, ephemeral, I can't fight the urge to record what I see, and share it beyond the streets of my neighbourhood. So, throughout the year, I kept my camera at the ready and tried to document as many of these free-range creations as I could.
Some of them I saw emerge overnight -- one day they weren't there and the next they were. Others had actually been there for years, hidden in interesting corners, but I only happened to spot them this year.
As with my street art roundup for 2011, I present them in no particular order, and dated by when I took the snap. As for giving artist credits, it's all a mystery to me, but if any of you invisible hands want to post your name in the comments below, knock yourself out.
As always, demolition and building sites proved fertile ground. An alien-mouthed beauty appeared on the hoardings of an abandoned development site on Montague Road (pictured at top), while a Victoria Street site is home to an old-school spray-paint gallery. This one has everything from Batman to political statements and is worth a stroll around.
Some of my favourite building-site works are the delicate dragons that can be found rampant on many grey walls around West End. A seahorse (with poem) on the wall near Bicycle Revolution has the same light beauty, and I wonder if it's by the same artist. The inscription says it's been there since 2010, but I only stumbled across it this year.
The stencillers also kept me smiling in 2012, with humming-birds floating on footpaths and walls, and retro-inspired figures turning up in tiny spaces. With their whimsical humour, stencils are probably my favourite form of street-art, and I highly recommend looking carefully for these small treasures as you walk around.
Poster-wise, I saw some fantastic faces this year. I also saw a Chow Monstro image down on Boundary Street that got me googling to find out more. Turns out that Chow is a US mixed media artist whose trademark is the Mickey Mouse skull. Posters like the one on Boundary Street can be found on old walls and buildings all over the world.
Other notable stuff included the amazing calligraphic foot that was at Box Vintage but can now be found at Holloway Sunglasses on Victoria Street (along with a bear in similar style), a very cool dog that appeared for a little while on the roller door at Ocean's Catch Sea Food, and a little fuse box on Granville Street that never disappoints.