Adelaide has plenty of street art. It’s ‘Central Business District’ (CBD) in particular has a range of works to be seen. Designed on a grid system it’s also fairly easy to get about. Just make sure you wear sunscreen, the city and the region can get pretty hot if you’re wandering around.
We’ve already written about the street art to be found in the area of Port Adelaide which is to the north east of the city. The work there is a bit more condensed but there’s some great murals to see. In the CBD it is spread out. The walls generally don’t seem to be as large but that’s tempered by the volume of it, there’s a lot to see.
So for this post I thought I’d pick out some of the best murals seen whilst exploring the city. The scene in the area also features two artists whose work we also often see in London. The likes of Jimmy C and Findac having a number of murals in both cities and these two are of course included in our list.
Meanwhile, local artists such as Lisa King, Vans the Omega, Order 55, Dave Court and Elizabeth Close are ones we’ve become familiar with on this trip. All have created a number of stunning murals in the city. Added to that, the distinctive paste ups by Peter Drew have also captured the imagination and helped to kick start a debate on what it is to be Australian.
The Best Street Art to see in Adelaide
Peter Drew – Aussie, Multiple Locations
Peter Drew’s paste ups feature old colorized photos of immigrants who made their lives in Australia. Emblazoned with the word ‘Aussie’ underneath, these are people who helped to build the nation. Drew is asking us to re-imagine what it is to be Australian by pasting these images up all around the city. You can read more about his project here.
Findac – University of South Australia & Vardon Avenue
Findac’s portraits of Asian women are generally hugely popular wherever he paints them. The splashes of colour spread like a mask over their eyes give the works an extra dimension. Conveying on the sitters an extra layer of mystery. The artist is a regular visitor to Adelaide. His most recent work being on the campus of the South Australia University but he also has a number of others dotted around. Sadly we only managed to capture two. You can read an interview with Findac at Street Art United States here.
Lisa King – Payneham Road, Jive Bar & Glenelg
Self taught artist Lisa King has a number of murals in the area. According to the Guildhouse she only moved into painting from 2012 in search of more freedom of expression. Inspired by fashion photography, traditional painting techniques, the Renaissance, indie culture and street art much of this comes through in her work.
Order 55 – Wright Street, Pirie Street, Wyatt Street, Register Street
Adelaide’s Seb Humphrey’s goes by the name of Order 55 and has a number of pieces in the city. Graffiti inspired, his murals focus on the different ways of representing the world and its complexities. His work has an ethereal look to it. Using the spray can as if to create an energy coming out of the wall.
Jimmy C – Wright Street, Vardon Avenue
Now living in London but originally from Adelaide. Jimmy C is an artist with legacies in both cities. His unique pointillist style has been well nurtured over the years, creating portraits from many layers of spray painted dots. Influential in terms of the development of Australian street art he started out in 1988 just as the graffiti scene was taking hold in the country.
Vans the Omega – Andrew Street, Waymouth Street, Morphett Street, Grenfell Street
From Adelaide and active since the 90’s Vans the Omega’s colourful portraits stand out against the city walls. Indeed after many years travelling Adelaide is where he now feels at home. The volume of his work which can be seen here as a result is testament to that. Speaking to Street Art 360 he also reveals the origins of his distinctive name and you can read that interview here.
Dave Court – Hindley Street, Moore Street
The honour of creating the biggest mural in Adelaide belongs to Dave Court. A multi-disciplinary artist his giant work on Hindley Street was painted when Adelaide was designated a UNESCO city of music in 2015. The mural features a range of imagery relating to Adelaide’s music scene over the years.
Elizabeth Close – Little Rundle Street, Franklin Street
Now based in Adelaide Elizabeth Close is a Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara woman from the APY Lands in Central Australia. Her work is a fusion of contemporary and traditional Aboriginal art. Conveying the landscape of the APY she draws upon themes of identity, forced removal, loss of culture and intergenerational trauma.
Little Rundle Street Outdoor Gallery
Just outside of the CBD is the Little Rundle Street outdoor gallery. Packed full of street art, this little street packs a punch,there’s certainly plenty to see. First devised in 2016 by local cafe owner Clare Graham in 2016 it was part of the Adelaide Fringe Festival. The street in the Kent Town area was soon transformed as a result and is still there to see.
The street art of Adelaide was visited on 1 & 2 November 2019. For more posts on Australian street art take at look at these featuring the murals of the Silo Art Trail, Melbourne, Port Adelaide and Brisbane.