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Melbourne’s Other Art Scene

Melbourne, Australia has a world-famous art gallery (with Henry Moore and Augustus John in the collection) but an even better-known street art scene. Mirka Mora has provided the mural on the exterior wall of Flinders Street Station, as a good starting point. Known for her primitive, colourful paintings, Mirka has made inner-city Melbourne her own. Stand in front of the Flinders Street Station steps, facing the clocks and then turn sharp right. Two minutes away, you’ll see Mirka Mora’s vision of Australia, from koalas with her characteristic big, all-seeing eyes to strangely green couples. Or are they parents with children? Cross the road to Federation Square, described by one taxi-driver as the ugliest collection of gigantic Rubik Cubes ever seen in Victoria. Well, maybe. But it’s a good landmark. Walk alongside it, keeping the wonderful cinema inside, to your right. Then look across the road. You’ll soon see the hip, tiny cafe/bar Movida, which is on the very edge of a much-photographed laneway. This is where Melbourne’s most messagey street art thrives, contained within a narrow space which challenges anyone with spray-paint. From there, walk back to Flinders Street Station and catch a bright yellow cab from the rank. It’s a short trip to Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, with all its tempting shopping and bar/cafe culture. But more importantly, either side of Brunswick Street, you’ll find the laneways and side streets where street art goes wild. You won’t need a map or an app, just an eye for a squid, waving at you from a hidden corner – or an enormous portrait of a Melbourne businesswoman, in her specs. This is way beyond Banksy. And it’s all free to see, in the heart of Melbourne…Sometimes the work is hit-and-miss, which can happen when you’re spraying in the heat of the moment. Sometimes you wonder if the National Gallery of Victoria shouldn’t be taking away the bricks for future historians. Start the search from Flinders Street Station.

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