I had another interesting day of seeking out street art in Adelaide recently which I find so satisfying not only because finding these is a bit like a treasure hunt, but also because I learn so much more about my own city.
The east end of Adelaide has a pretty up market and secluded feel about it, with some great looking cafes, restaurants and bars which kind of give you the impression that locals would like to keep them to themselves as a secret. Too late!
It’s an area I will have to spend more time discovering at another time but first, here’s a look at some of the street art to find on businesses and laneways in the area.
From East Terrace, head down Vardon Avenue and you will find a sculpture by Karen Genoff which acknowledges the heritage of this precinct which was once home to the East End fruit and vegetable markets. The sculpture is a cast bronze reconstruction of an apron hung up to signify the end of the working day and the market’s closure. Around the base of the sculpture are more symbols with bronze market crates and vegetables.
Not only was the area just for selling produce though, other occupants included umbrella makers, taxidermists and services like letter carrying and midwifery. The markets closed in 1988 and today the area has been taken over with amongst other things, al fresco dining, fashion stores and boutiques.
Off Vardon Avenue, in Frank’s Lane a large mural of Frank Vaiana looks over passers-by. The mural painted by Nick Phillips acknowledges the contribution to the city by Frank, a local barber who has been a fixture in the city since arriving in Australia in 1957. As a 17 year old, he opened a barber shop in the same year he arrived and has been trading ever since. The lane was named in his honour too and the artwork commissioned as part of the Adelaide Fringe Festival in 2016.
In another laneway, Ebenezer Place, you’ll find this beautiful Asian lady painted by Irish artist Fin DAC and it’s typical of his art style. There’s also a bright contemporary design by Sydney artist Elliott Routledge (aka Numskull).
Continue walking in a westerly direction and you will come to Sym Choon Lane which was named after Miss Gladys Sym Choon , the first woman to incorporate her business in South Australia in 1928.
The portrait art on the building is of the late Joff Chappel, a well-known Adelaide identity, who together with partner Razak Mohammed, took over the legendary fashion store in 1985, and was the face of the store until his death in 2020. This mural was also painted by Nick Phillips
Other artwork on this building is by Cam Kerr and on the end wall of the building is a mural by Matt Stuckey.
In Sym Choon Lane there’s another mural titled Cornerstone of the Community, which was the 2020 Adelaide Fringe Poster and was painted by Donovan Christie.
Nearby in Union Street you can see this mural by Matthew Clarke which was the Fringe street art explosion poster for 2019.
All these and I still haven’t discovered all there are to see in the East End!
Enjoy the journey,