Melbourne 2023 – Part 3

Monday 6th February

Following on from the previous weeks I decided to make Monday a day of rest, so I chilled out catching up with the UK paper, doing my regular puzzles and reading my book. By lunchtime I had had enough so decided to dig out Graeme’s mower and set about cutting the grass, this was followed by me attacking the weeds on the paths, boy is the ‘onion grass’ here one tough weed. Job done, I felt that I had earned the right to sit in the sun with a beer with Joffrey beside me.

Tuesday 7th February

Today was the day to visit one of Pat’s favourite haunts, the Bayside Men’s Shed. I got picked up by Pat & Kay, Kay left us there and went off to join her walking group , leaving Pat and me to play with all the big boy toys. It was nice to meet up again with some of Pat’s friends that I had met on a previous visit, and it was interesting to see all of the various projects taking shape. At 11:00 everything stopped and we all gathered to see a presentation by one of the members on model aviation, it was quite interesting with some practical demonstrations using model planes of all sizes and types. The presentation was followed by a BBQ lunch where all the members had a chance to socialise and have a blether. We then were collected by Kay and we returned to their home in Beaumaris for a coffee, Pat then decided to bring out his collection of RC helicopters and drones to try to put into practice what we had been shown. We had a short stroll around Beaumaris before returning for dinner when Graeme and Briony joined us. Another good day.

Wednesday 8th February

Today I decided to hit one of Melbourne’s suburbs to take some photographs of street art as shown on one of my apps. I chose to visit Fitzroy as it was fairly easy to reach, a train to Flinders Street then a tram to Gertrude Street (2nd coolest street in the world according to Time Out magazine) before a long walk up Brunswick Street and its associated lanes and side streets. I was not disappointed with what I found, there were some decent quality murals, especially the Fitzroy Faces on Cecil Street, this 50-metre wall has 7 large portraits by the artists; Rone, Adnate, Sofles, Heesco, Dvate, Cam Scale and Jason Parker. I did find, however, that there was the usual amount of tagging in the area which had wiped out some good work I had seen on previous visits. Back in the city, I had a wee wander before stopping for a late lunch before heading back to Aspendale where after dinner I started to get some order into my street art photographs of Frankston.

Thursday 9th February

Today I decided to try out Graeme’s bicycle, I pumped up the tyres and figured out how to reset the lock before going down the track alongside the creek for a bit, to say that I didn’t enjoy it was an understatement, I found the bike heavy and a bit difficult, I tried to change gear and the chain came off, so after I put it back on I returned home and spent the rest of the morning sitting in the sun reading my book. After lunch I walked to Mordialloc to pick up some shopping and a bottle of cough syrup before meeting Graeme off the train, rather than waiting in the pub, I took a stroll down to the beach and spent some time enjoying watching the local surf club training for beach rescues, much too energetic for me. Before heading home, Graeme and I had a lovely curry in Saffron, the local curry shop.

Friday 10th February

Today I decided to revisit the Richmond suburb to see if the street art scene had changed and to find some new pieces as shown on my Street Art Cities app. I was a little disappointed to find many good pieces painted over and not too many new works. I wandered quite a bit trying to find some from the app to no avail. In fact, the only thing I found of interest was the Ikea store where I stopped for a lunch of some traditional meatballs. I returned to a traditional Aussie BBQ out on the deck, we were joined by P&K and we finalised details for our Silo Art tour.

Saturday 11th February

Today P&K and I set off on our Silo Art tour, it took us around 6 hours, with a break in Ballarat for lunch, to reach our Grampians destination of Halls Gap, where we checked into our rooms in the Gariwerd Motel (Gariwerd is the aboriginal name for the Grampians). Once settled in and unpacked we went for a wander around town, stopping off for a coffee where we planned our next few days. We returned to the Motel for an afternoon siesta, before heading out for dinner in the Halls Gap Tavern, it was interesting watching the local wildlife such as, wallabies, cockatiels and Kookaburras in their natural habitat. As we had an early start in the morning we decided to have an early night and returned to the Motel.

Sunday 12th February

After a nice breakfast, provided by Kay, we were picked up by Justin from Grampians Tours for the start of our trip, our first stop was the Stick Shed at Murtoa this was an interesting place to visit, created during WWII, to store surplus grain, it is built using 560 unmilled Ash trees and corrugated iron, at 270 metres long, it certainly is a sight to see, We then stopped at the Woods’ Farming and Heritage Museum in Rupanyuip for a coffee and chickpea flour brownies, which were very nice, the museum was a fabulous place to visit, jammed full of interesting articles collected by 5 generations of the Woods family.

From the museum we made our way to the Sheep Hill silo painted by Matt Adnate, the bright colourful mural, featuring 4 local Indigenous people, certainly takes your breath away when you first see it.

Our next stop was at a town called Brim to see a silo painted by one of my favourite artists, Guido Van Helten, this mural in his familiar monochromatic style, features 4 local farmers and was actually the first silo to be painted on the mural trail in 2016, over the years the colours have faded until the artwork look as if it was almost a part of the original concrete of the silo.

We returned to Rupanyup to view a silo painted by Russian artist Julia Volchkova in 2017, this artwork, again in a monochromatic style, features 2 of the youngsters of the town wearing their sports attire (netball and Australian Rules football), on a pair of squat steel silos. The evolving rust spots on them add to their appeal in my opinion. Whilst staying in the town Julia forged friendships with many of the locals, and after a fire nearby painted a tribute to the volunteer firefighters of the community.

Unfortunately, this was the final silo on our tour, when we found out that we would only visit 3 on the tour, we were a bit disappointed, however, once we had seen the distances between the silos and the conditions of the rural roads, we could understand why the tour was limited, however, this was more than made up by the additional elements of the tour and the friendliness and generosity of the people we met on the way. On our return to Halls Gap, we oldies had a well earned nap before visiting the Paper Rock Scissors brewery for dinner, and very good it was too.

Monday 13th February

To compensate for missing many of the silos yesterday, we planned to visit a couple within driving distance of the motel and that wouldn’t add too much travel time to our journey home, so after another excellent breakfast, we headed to the town of Horsham to see a silo painted by Smug, this stunning full figure mural is a tribute to Yanggendyinanyuk, an Aboriginal warrior, sitting alongside it is his painting of a Black Cockatoo, which was the characters totem. Whilst at the silo we met a lad flying his drone, it turned out that he was the photographer for the Melbourne artist Jimmy Dvate, who was painting a mural next to Horsham Town Hall, so off we went to see him in action, it was great to see just how he approaches his work and to see the piece develop.

Our next stop was the sleepy little town of Dimboola, a stop on the way to Arkona, see another silo pained by Smug, this was a great place to have a coffee break and a chat with some of the locals in Oma’s Cafe, it transpired that Smug stayed in the town whilst painting the silo and while he was there he also painted a mural on a building next to the local library, this mural, a study of some local birds, was magnificent indeed. After our coffee, we went up the road to Arkona to see another stunning and interesting mural by Smug on the silo. The mural depicts Roley Klinge, an Arkona local who championed tennis for the local community. Being unable to meet Roley, who had passed away in 1991, Smug decided to paint him in an innovative way, showing only his clothing and tennis gear, however, he did manage to fit in a small portrait of him at the base of the silo. This truly is a spectacular mural that finished off our trail to perfection.

As we liked it so much, we returned to Dimboola for lunch before starting our return trip, after chatting to the cafe staff about the town’s up-and-coming Steampunk Festival, we paid a visit to the Dimboola Imaginarium, a quirky gift shop, housed in an old bank building. Run by 2 guys who are currently converting the former managers accommodation into guest bedrooms which are decorated in a unique way, we were invited in to see all the rooms and we even visited the old vault to see a pictorial history of the area, the place and the people certainly were interesting.

We then hit the Western Highway for an uneventful journey home from a fun, interesting and enjoyable trip, which will stay in our memories I’m sure.

A busy time gone by …

I’ve been very busy lately, hence the lack of recent input to my blog. It all started with Yardworks, followed by volunteering at the Glasgow Mela, and this past weekend I was volunteering at Doune The Rabbit Hole festival, more information on each of these follows:


One of my favourite events is Yardworks, held at SWG3, this annual street art festival is one of my favourite weekends in Glasgow. The event, held on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th June, is one of Europe’s biggest dedicated to street art and graffiti – with artists and writers from across Glasgow, the UK and Europe coming together to paint and draw, creating an explosion of colour.

On the nearby railway arches, wall spaces and boards in the yard, the highly skilled artists including Smug, Ejek, Rogue One and many others worked side by side with some of the most celebrated names from around the globe – including Zurik, Bublegum, and Balstroem.

Smug + Bublegum + The Guzler

I was there on the Saturday with my mate Jim and his 10 year old grandson Jack and It was so good to be able to meet and chat with friends old and new, Jack was enthralled by the talent on display and expressed an interest in trying out some spray painting himself in the future.

Jack and his favourite mural

Sunday saw me back again, this time with my friends Gary and Jan Gammage, it was great to see the works develop and to see the eventual finished articles. Gary & Jan were interested in the many different techniques used, spray paint, palette, brush and the use of stencils in the development of the pieces.

It was a brilliant weekend, great art, good food and fun in the company of friends, what more could you ask for.

My photographs from the weekend can be found here.

Glasgow Mela

Sunday the 26th found me in Kelvingrove park volunteering at the Glasgow Mela, an annual multicultural music and dance festival. The Mela began in 1990 as part of Glasgow’s year as the European City of Culture and has grown from being an indoor event at the Tramway to an outdoor extravaganza, with something for all the family.

I was assigned as the Artist Liaison for the Navras (main) stage, which kept me busy for the whole day. At this stage, we had a variety of acts, dance, music and performance arts. Amongst the acts that entertained me and the crowds were Deesh Sandhu, Hunterz and the headliner Jaz Dhami and his band.

Being busy for most of the day I missed out on some of the other activities on offer but did manage to grab a nice lamb curry for lunch from one of the many food outlets on site.

Doune The Rabbit Hole

Doune the Rabbit Hole is an intimate, independent music & arts festival located amidst the glorious ancient oak trees of the Cardross Estate, near the Lake of Menteith, in Stirlingshire. Starting in 2010, at a site near the town of Doune (hence the name!) they have been celebrating the very best of Scotland’s independent arts scene alongside amazing international guests. This year’s line-up included main stage headliners like the legendary Patti Smith and Band, multi-million selling Scottish singer-songwriter Amy MacDonald, homegrown, world-famous talent Belle & Sebastian, English post-punk duo Sleaford Mods and Bellshill natives and superstars Teenage Fanclub, one of my son Graeme’s favourites (the video below is for him). I really enjoyed the set by Esperanza, a Glasgow Ska band, they took me back to my youth.

I was the artist Liaison on the Bandersnatch stage which had a sort of folkie and blues vibes, and thanks to Chris Blackmore, the Stage Manager and Phil the Sound Engineer, the atmosphere there was pretty chilled and relaxing and we had some really entertaining artists on stage including The Mary Wallopers, Rachel Sermanni and John Francis Flynn, it was good to see and listen to Erin Bradley-Scott perform, Erin is one of my favourite art groups, The Cobolt Collective, she certainly is a talented lady. It seems like I can never get away from street art and artists, I even came across a nice piece by Ross MacRae next to the Jabberwocky stage, I really like his work.

There was also some exceptional food on offer, although there was a crew canteen I gave it a miss at times to sample the fare from Barnacles & Bones, Shawarmarama, and the Pizza Geeks.

As this was a weekend camping festival and I didn’t feel like camping, I decided to book a room in Willow Court, one of Stirling University’s halls of residence, overall this was a great choice. Another great weekend and I’m looking forward to heading back again next year

Amsterdam Updated

I have eventually caught up with two of my outstanding blog posts, the first is the one for the STRAAT Museum in Amsterdam which I visited recently.
The collection held there is very impressive and extensive as can be seen by the photographs on the page, there are a lot of them.
They can be viewed here:

I have also uploaded a page showing the murals spotted while wandering the city, this includes the 10 murals created for the “If Walls could talk” festival in 2019. For me, the highlight of this set of murals was one by Smug of our very own GazMac, it is spectacular as usual.
They can be viewed here:

Street Art in Northern Ireland

Now that I’ve had a bit of time I’ve put together a couple of pages of the street art I photographed during my recent trip to Northern Ireland. I discovered so much I have split it into two pages, one for Belfast City and the other for the pieces I found in the other towns I visited on my trip. A few sample images are shown below.

The complete set of photographs can be found on the Street Art in Northern Ireland page.

Back in Town Again ~ Part II

My next trip out started in Sauchiehall Lane, where I had been heard of a mural by Mark Worst, I found it at the rear of Broadcast next to another of OhPanda’s Big Heids, I must admit that they are in a location I wouldn’t normally visit, but I thought the work by both of them were worth the effort.

My plan was to go from there down to the Broomielaw and head back into the city along the riverbank, while there it was good to see Smug’s swimmers, a large mural he created for the 2014 Commonwealth Games. I also revisited the mural created in 2019 by the Cobolt Collective, featuring words by Glasgow poet Liz Lochhead, to celebrate the 30-year anniversary of Glasgow’s Doors Open Days Festival.

Further along the Broomielaw I discovered a little monument to the merchant ships lost during the Spanish Civil War, I wasn’t so much interested in the politics behind it, but as an ex merchant navy officer, I thought it was touching how it celebrates those British sailors who, in open defiance of the British Government’s wishes, risked their lives to run the blockade of Spanish ports to deliver much-needed food supplies to Republican territory during the Spanish Civil War of 1936-39.  Further along Custom House Quay there is La Pasionaria”  with her arms outstretched and her face raised in a gesture of defiance.  La Pasionaria” (“The Passion Flower”) was the pen name of Dolores Ibárruri, a Spanish Republican politician, communist, and prominent anti-fascist propagandist during the Spanish Civil War of 1936 to 1939. Her statue was commissioned by The International Brigades Association of Glasgow as a memorial to British citizens who served in the brigades during the war.

My trip to the riverbank was finished off by a look at the many pieces of graffiti on the Clyde Walkway, this almost seems like the nearest thing to a legal wall in Glasgow and although to many it looks ugly, I can see some talents emerging, one of whom is Frodrik, his tribute to the rapper MK Doom stands out, he is one of Glasgow’s rising stars, another who pops up regularly is Negative Destination, his cartoon characters certainly add some bright colour to the area, his “The Beast Tamer and his Best Friend” on the hoarding round the Lidl store on Jamaica Street is a bit of fun, his comment on it was “When you see a long wall the only option is to fill it with a long ass painting”.

Into the city for some shopping and lunch before heading for home after another nice day in the city, On the way home I got off the bus in Victoria Road to visit Westmorland Street to see a mural in a little park, depicting what the South Side community means to the local children, the works created by them were faithfully recreated by artist Beth Shapeero and mural artist Ursula Kam-Ling Cheng on the wall of a tenement building where the old Hampden cinema and Claddagh Club once stood.

Ursula Kam-Ling – Westmoreland Street

Yardworks – The Arches

I recently took a trip down to see how the Arches Project at SWG3, was coming along, it was a really sunny day and it was good to meet up with Gaz, Dan, Barry, Smug, and the rest of guys working away. As usual, I took plenty of photographs, some from the narrow pavement beside the arches and some from across the Expressway.

Some pieces are completed, however many of the pieces are still to be finished and there are a couple of arches yet to be started. Most artists were assigned one arch, but Smug and the Cobolt Collective were each given 2, looking at what has been done to date on them they are making full use of the expanded space.

I was highly impressed with the work so far, but as I’m getting ready to disappear for a wee while, I’ll just have to wait to see the finished articles on my return.

Yardworks Weekend 2019

I had a great weekend at Yardworks, the weather for a change was brilliant.  The crowds turned out and the artists working put on a tremendous display.  In addition to the local favourites, many national and international artists created some tremendous work.

There was something for all the family in a carnival atmosphere, skateboarding and art experience for the kids and plenty of street food and bars for the adults, definitely something to add to the diary for next year.

Some of the photographs I took over the weekend can be seen here.


SWG3 Today

I had to visit the homebrew shop in Whiteinch for supplies, so I nipped into SWG3 while I was in the area, the place was busy with loads of metalheads there for the Lords of the Land festival, lots of long hair, leather and torn jeans, and bands I have never heard of, from what I could hear, it was pretty loud music!

Lords of the Land.jpg

It was good to see some new artwork in the yard, I was pleased to see that Mark Worst has finished the portrait I spotted him starting in January, noticed that Scent is developing his skills and a lot of good work by EJEK with AERS, SMUG amongst others.  It looks like they are gearing up for this year’s Yardworks in May.

New Section added

To try and make it easier to find photographs of street artists with a significant quantity of murals, I have created a new top-level section called The Artists.  I have added as much information on the artist as currently known by myself and a gallery of images.  I will add more information and Images as I receive them.

City Wander

An unexpected 10k wander around the city yesterday led me to different sources of artwork and some chats with good people. I haven’t created a map for this wander as it was totally unorganised and very random, you can follow my rambling and see the photographs here.