“Should graffiti be judged on the same level as modern art? Of course not: It's way more important than that.”
Street art inspires, questions and challenges our experience of the street as a public space.
Street artists choose walls, bridges and alleyways as their canvas to communicate directly with their audience.
Opinions are often blurred between whether it is art or vandalism; is it a case of ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’?
This unit looks at all kinds of street art around Melbourne and Australia. Watch the videos to learn more, and consider the questions under each video.
Graffiti and art
What makes graffiti ‘street art’? Is it who the artist is? Is it a question of it being illegal or legal? Or is street art a case of ‘beauty in the eye of the beholder’?
Is there a difference between graffiti and vandalism? Where and when is the line drawn?
Banksy and street art
Do we as a community have a responsibility to preserve and conserve street art?
What are the difficulties in preserving art that is temporary in nature?
Is there a difference between public art and art in public places?
Given that most pieces are site-specific, what are street artists trying to say about place?
A gallery in an abandoned abattoir
Why would graffiti artists create their own ‘gallery’ in abandoned buildings?
How does street art differ from art in a gallery? Compile a list of descriptive words.
Keith Haring and the challenge of preserving street art
Why would an artist choose to work on the street and not in a gallery?
What are some of the issues that arise when considering the preservation of street art? Can you find arguments for and against the conservation of street art?
Street art and community
What important roles do audience and intention play in the design and creation of street art in community spaces?
How can street art give a voice to minority groups in the community?
Street art and history
How has history and time be immortalised in this mural?
What is the relationship between the mural and its environment/location?
What different styles of street art exist? Research as many as you can.
Choose some examples of Melbourne street art and identify the social issues addressed.
Compose a series of clips that explore the political and social messages communicated by street artists in your local area. Use a range of interesting shots, angles and movements to capture the work. Experiment with timelapse techniques to show a particular piece of street art as a permanent or temporary fixture in its environment.
“I always like to see if the art across the street is better than mine.”