Art for Everyone in the Great Outdoors

As you travel through this wonderful country you will see Street Art in many towns

Australia has a wealth of talented artists and a great way to see some accessible art in your travels is to become a treasure hunter and seek out street art and murals. These scenic attractions can be just as big a drawcard in some towns as the natural landscapes, with many murals depicting what the region or town is known for.

Some places are becoming so well known for their street art that visitors are going there to find murals as part of a holiday itinerary. For travellers it’s also a great way to discover hidden places off the main roads in small towns and bigger regional areas as you walk around the streets looking at some fairly grand scale works. A self-guided walking tour is also a great antidote to long hours of road travel.

If you’re not familiar with an area, a good tip is to ask the locals who are usually more than happy to point you in the right direction. Of course while you are walking you’ll also get a better look at all the shops and cafes a destination has to offer. In recent travels I’ve found some stand out artistic communities one of which is Toowoomba in regional Queensland. What started out as a hunt for a particular mural took me off in a completely different direction and into some amazingly colourful alleyways. I did eventually find the piece I was looking for, but discovered so much more by getting lost!

The impressive art works are painted over brick, metal, downpipes, roof gutters and more, which when you think about it is quite an achievement in itself. The texture of the buildings they adorn add to the total effect of the mural. These are as far from smooth, flat canvasses as you can get which led me to wonder how so many murals came to be there.

The Toowoomba street art initiative is an annual event called the First Coat Mural Festival and is held in May each year. Artists, whether established or up and coming, can apply to organisers and if accepted are invited to paint murals on designated buildings in laneways throughout the city. The colour and scale of these murals draws you in and keeps you wanting to discover what is around the next corner.

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