I love simply wandering around cities with my camera in hand, stopping whenever I want to take photos. During a trip in Perth, I wandered down unknown streets and laneways, which concealed magnificent street art pieces, often several meters in width and height, and behind skyscrapers, restaurants and small businesses. It was a wonderful way to really discover a new city and the creative side of its local artists. Street art is absolutely thriving in Perth.
Perth’s hip inner suburbs have been undergoing a transformation over the past few years. Increasingly, alongside the trendy venues — on walls once neglected and covered in graffiti — you’ll find street art. Perth street art is known to be bizarre, ranging from faces out of place in a sea of swirling colour, to a snake eating its own tail. These random depictions are eye-catching, surreal and rising in growth, leaving people curious as to what’s around the corner.
These are not tags. This is real art. And real artists are behind it. They are often really stunning pieces and they’re very popular additions to the streets cape. Communities are recognising that street art can enrich their neighbourhoods. There are really talented people and it makes sense to engage them to help make the country's neighbourhoods more interesting.
I must emphasize that there is a difference between graffiti and street art. The beauty in street art is liberty. Graffiti is just writing with a spray can. Street art is using the same tools for design, for artistic expression.
The artists themselves get a thrill out of knowing that - unlike work hung in galleries - people encounter their artwork randomly. It can surprise people and elicit a genuine reaction that isn’t tempered by being in that quiet white gallery box. That’s what makes it so fun to create work in the street. It’s fun to think your work might be rattling around in the subconscious of people you’ll never meet.
Street art is such an attractive calling because it’s the unexpected.
What’s your favourite piece of street art in Perth?