The regional city of Geelong is a little over 75 kilometres from Melbourne and a very creative place to discover. The painted bollards that decorate the foreshore of town are something that people may be familiar with, but my quest on very limited time was to also find some of the amazing street art around town. Looking for street art I find is a good way to stretch your legs when travelling and to get your bearings in a new town, especially if like me, you finish up backtracking and revisiting places, walking in circles! Eventually you work out where you’ve been and where to head next.
The more than 100 painted bollards that you will find around Geelong stretch from the foreshore to Limeburners Point and the Botanic Gardens. The old wooden jetty pylons were transformed by artist Jan Mitchell from a city pier demolished in 1995. They are now quirky tourist attractions and these brightly painted folk represent explorers, historic characters, lifesavers, football players and more. There is a walking trail map that you can follow to see all of them if you have a spare couple of hours or you can drive and park at spots along the foreshore for shorter walks.
There are a number of big wall murals in town that I particularly wanted to find and others that I just stumbled across in my travels. The first mural I went searching for, was of INXS lead singer, the late great Michael Hutchence. The artist ‘Shoey’ has captured his moody sultry look perfectly. This piece in Minns Place is surrounded by other artworks here and along the adjoining Minns Lane.
On the corner of the lane and James Street where a beautiful black and white portrait of Moi-Yo Millar looms large on the side of a building. The artist Michael Cassar has captured this Geelong born, Australian entertainer and once magician’s assistant, as she looked at the height of her career in the 1930s.
Two more home grown talents have been immortalized in murals in nearby Dennys Place. Locally born Australian rock music legend, lead singer in the band Divynls, and another talent gone too soon, Chrissy Amphlett, painted by Glen Smith and King Billy (Willem Baa Nip) a well-respected local indigenous man of the Wadawurrung people, by Cam Scale.
Another tribute to Chrissy Amphlett can be found in McLarty Place, painted by Ian Lowe. I didn’t find out until too late, but if you download the Geelong Arts and Culture Trails App, not only will it help you find fantastic arts around town but at this mural in McLarty Place you can point your iPhone camera to the right hand poster on the wall and thanks to a little digital technology magic, you can see and listen to a Divynls hit on your phone. Next time!
On the theme of music you can’t miss the massive colourful mural in Union Street of Beyonce and Jay Z by Danielle Weber. The almost photographic quality is outstanding from any angle.
In John Street there are a couple more artworks to find, one called Mountain Girl by Laura Alice and the other a mural by Kinyobi Designs.
There are many more examples of street art, big and small around Geelong so hopefully next time I visit I will have more time to spend finding them.
Find music and art wherever you go!