Perth has incredible street art, and I recently discovered the joy of it on a 2 hour city walking tour with awesome tour guide Adie Chapman from Oh Hey WA.
I love walking tours where you become a part of the city. The slow walking pace gives you a greater opportunity to experience the smells and sounds as well as sights, something you don’t get when you are on a bus tour.
The Street Art and Sculpture tour took us down lanes that are often walked past, but they are alive with creativity and worth the diversion. Ten years ago Perth City Council decided that the laneways that had been described as unglamorous and at times dangerous, should be transformed, and the Forgotten Spaces project began. A lot of the artworks have been commissioned by the city, and there is also some amazing uncommissioned (underground) art. Those lanes now house small bars and cafes, as well as the incredible artworks. The longest mural at 99 metres is in Grand Theatre Laneway.
Look past the rubbish wheelie bins (they still have to go somewhere), look around and look up.
Laneways with cobblestone strips down their centre, and lights above lead you into the lanes.
Some pieces are creative cartoons.
Others are people based.
Geometrics, florals, even the tiled works are street art, as is the lego Jesus.
At 25 stories high the Adnate hotel mural is the largest mural in the Southern Hemisphere. Past present and future of Perth people is represented here, and it was painted freehand with a spray can.
The fashion district of Perth was Prince Lane, and the art here celebrates the patterns used in clothing.
With the highest density of restaurants in Australia, Northbridge has many walls for beautiful street art.
The painting of Old Shanghai has been painted with a dramatic neon effect.
Look closely at the “Border Crossing” painting and you will see words that were written in her Indian emigrant grandmother’s diary.
One series of statues on the walk was the Noongar aboriginal dancers. With the RAC arena in the background these statues symbolise Koorden (strength) and the resilience of their people. They are tall, graceful and beautiful. In 1901 a group of dancers were ready to perform for Royalty when they visited Perth. Unfortunately they never got the chance to do so, but fortunately – through this artwork – they cannot be forgotten and now are ready to dance for us.
Adie is a passionate and enthusiastic tour guide, with an amazing wealth of interesting information about the art and sculptures on our 2 hour walk. Oh Hey WA runs a variety of walking tours in Perth, and I now want to do all of them!
Adie started the company 6 years ago and now her sister has joined her. It is great to hear stories of people who create their own businesses and want to share it with others. Check them out at www.ohheywa.com.au.