Me And Melbourne Art: A Love Affair. (Street art, Art trams, Dockland Statues, etc.)

Art is one of those things we simply must do
so that our spirit may continue to grow ~ Unknown

There are few things in the world that steal my heart. Fewer those capture my soul. Art is one of them. I have a terrible weakness for all things artistic. I can’t help but fall in love with anyone and everyone who hold the talent to create something out of a blank dot.

That’s how Melbourne trapped my heart. And that's where Melbourne ceased to be a city, instead went on to becoming something more. Past magnificent architectural marvels and grand iconic structures, Melbourne delighted me with visuals which highlighted a different aspect of its own personality.

My love affair with the city was about to begin.

With the city map tightly held in my hand, I had ventured out of my hotel room on the first day itself, curious to discover the little streets and crisscrossing avenues lining the city, the city’s most lovable assets in its most natural form. The sounds I heard and the scenes I witnessed were captivating, almost magical.

Out there, away from the routine things to do and places to see, I heard this city hum a different tune. Music, painting, magic, puppetry – together, provided for a perfect melody. There were surprises waiting for me at many crosses and turns as the city morphed into a striking canvas dipped in a palette full of colorful art and symphonic creations, having enough enigma to gather my attention.

Come along ...

1. Art on the streets.

This was a sight I had never seen before: People, helpless and homeless, immersed in doing what they love in a bid to earn a life and living. It was heartwarming, so to say, and even more when I never witnessed anyone buy anything from them. This sight definitely made for one of my most prominent highlights of the entire Melbourne trip.

An artist at work on the streets, Melbourne
Art on the streets, Melbourne
Art on the streets of Melbourne
Painting for a living, on the streets of Melbourne.

2. Artistic masterpieces in motion: Art Trams of Melbourne.

As part of the Melbourne festival in October 2013, Melbourne had rolled out 8 Art trams to their world famous tram network. And, I was so glad to have seen many and captured at least 3 of them which I would like to share in this little diary of mine. Given below are the pictures accompanied with the words of the artist behind the creative imagination.

i) Tram 2002 by David Wadelton:

A colorful Melbourne Art trams, Melbourne Festival

"I have a great interest in the social history and the appearance of our suburbs. This has manifested itself in many ways, beginning in the 1970s, when I began prolifically photographing my local area of Northcote, as well as other inner suburbs.

I continue this practice to this day, and take special delight in the apparently mundane aspects of our everyday world. It's all interesting to me. One manifestation of this has been a commitment to photograph every house in Northcote, which has an eclectic mixture of houses, built on all budgets and in all era. I've used my photo archive of over 700 images to create wallpaper with which to wrap a tram. The tram will thus become a mechanical embodiment of suburban Melbourne!" - David Wadelton

Art tram launched: 5 October 2013

Routes: 86 and 112

ii) Tram 259 by Joining Forces:

Melbourne Art tram, Melbourne Festival

"You are now sitting inside a giant orange transportation device, covered in floating moon babies, space weasels and crusty old slug men. How did it come to this? Joining Forces is a collective of six Melbourne-based artists who combine wildly diverse styles to make imaginative art.

The members of the collective are Zahra Zainal, Jeffrey Phillips, Gemma Flack, Rhiannon Thomas, Brendan Ninness and Sebastian Berto. The tram artwork is based on a 5 metre long hand-painted canvas, which was created through a process of drawing over and around each other's work. The collective's work focuses on collaboration, experimentation and community" - Joining Forces

Art tram launched: 1 October 2013

Routes: 70 and 75

iii) Tram 925 - 'Backyard' by Jon Campbell:

Melbourne Art trams, Melbourne Festival

"The backyard design for my tram is based on the backyard that I grew up in, in Altona. It's a stylised pop version of that backyard. The backyard was a site of influential activity in my upbringing, cricket matches with my brothers and our mates and neighbours, family BBQs and 18th and 21st birthdays to name a few.

The backyard seems to have an important place in our psyche but hasn't beeen articulated much in art. I've always liked the social aspect backyards bring to our lives" - Jon Campbell

3. Sculptures in bronze at Waterfront City, Docklands and other star murals.

While striding along the Docklands bay area, by the Yarra River, near Harbour Town, and feeling the soft breeze play with my hair, I came across interesting performers and stars cast in life size statues of bronze. Docklands exhibits the very best of Melbourne, including over 40 artworks contributing to the strong identity of the locale. Inspired by a myriad of themes, walking past some of them felt like turning a few pages of a storybook...

... A storybook which was filled with characters ...


Public works of art in Melbourne
Peter Pan in Melbourne Zoo,  enjoying the attention of children and adults alike.


Docklands area public art, Melbourne
Graham Kennedy,  was the main host and star attraction
of a highly popular nightly variety television show titled - In Melbourne Tonight, also known as "IMT".


Docklands creative public art, Melbourne
An English-born Australian pop singer, John Farnham is one of Australia's leading performers with a career spanning over 45 years, also the only Australian Artist to top the charts in five consecutive years.


Docklands public art in Melbourne
Dame Edna Everage, housewife and megastar,
a famous character created and performed by Australian performer and comedian Barry Humphries.


Docklands public art, Melbourne
Dame Melba: An Australian operatic soprano, the first Australian to achieve international recognition as a classical musician.


Public works of art, overlooking a tram, on the streets of Melbourne
Met these gentlemen, not in Docklands, but somewhere on the streets, roaming, perhaps lost.

And ... Mischievous.

Docklands public art, monkeys, Melbourne

All of these and many more,
and, ready to speak up any moment ...
these were the stars,
chiseled in bronzebreathing life ...
drawing us closer,
Me and Melbourne Art,
igniting the spirits,
A Love Affair.
                                     ... to be contd.

Post a Comment


  1. A city that takes pride in its art is sure a great place for both citizens and visitors. I just loved those colorful art on the trams...Your have truly called them "Masterpieces in Motion " waiting for more...

  2. I love seeing the street art. Something I miss here in my small town.

  3. Arti, Great to read your new post from your Melbourne Yatra. Beautiful photos. Thanks for sharing :)

    ~ Have a nice weekend ~ Da

  4. Great street art. I like these works. :D

  5. Melbourne looks surreal with all those art works. Nice one, Arti. I too love and adore artists. Absolutely creative and magical.

  6. The local trams in Melbourne are much cooler than the ones in Lisbon, huh? Great street art, much better than the Berlin one!

  7. i love people who are artistic.. n looks that Melbourne is filled with such type of persons. Well written post with amazing clicks..

  8. I love the work of street artists. They always have some beautiful painting on display.
    I love the tram. It's beautifully painted.

  9. Hi Arti,

    Thank you for showing us your street Art around Melbourne - love it all.
    Such a fun thing to do painting the trams, makes it a brighter place. Also fun to see the bronze statues.

    happy weekend

  10. Those trams are amazing! Nice captures.

  11. Nice post with such wonderful pics.. Those street arts are simply superb..

  12. Your posts have increased my interest for Melbourne to a great extent... We were planning for a trip to Egypt...but now I think.. why not Melbourne ? :-P

  13. Wow! They are really passionate about the arts! Wondering how passion you are for the arts! Else, we would have not got a chance see these wonderful collection of photographs as well as this beautifully written post :) TC! Keep smiling :)

    The Arts & Me

  14. Interesting sculptures ... what fun! I love traveling with you virtually.

  15. Arti...I am envious of be surrounded by so much art is AWESOME!!!
    The girls painting in the street is heart-wrenching though!!!
    The dot painting is their aboriginal art which is very similar to our Gond painting :)
    Thanks for the share!!!

  16. Missed to mention...there are buses in Dubai with art all over it...esp during the Art Dubai season in Feb-Mar every year. They call for submissions. Once I had submitted too :)

  17. How wonderful, I especially love that monkey sculpture. Its so easy to understand why you feel in love with this city.

  18. You've really captured the spirit of the place. A good traveller's spirit you have.

  19. Great pics you captured...all the best!

  20. Art is that one thing which keeps u alive. Whenever I make something I feel so happy and refreshing... You took awesome clicks arti... And thank you for landing there at my place :)

  21. Nice city watch...

    thanks for sharing these photos...

  22. Amazing piece of art..Loved the paintings very much..Thanks Arti :)

  23. Beautiful post Arti-as always.
    This street art is a novel idea-i wonder the cops do not shoo them and the trafic does not disturb them.
    The second and third trams were a feast for the eyes.
    Love n hugs.

  24. Creative city with wonderful photography for OWT ~ thanks, ^_^

    artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)

  25. Arts in Melbourne are very unique, interesting and talented. The last monkeys make me famous three monkeys in the temple in japan. They cover their mouth, ears, eyes by their hands each other.
    Thank you for the interesting guide.

  26. everytime i come over to read a article there are such lovely pics and each times it reminds how a big idiot i been to not have visitied the place when i had the time


  27. So much beauty you a mnaged to discover in Melbourne, Arti! It makes me now want to go back and rediscover the city:) Missed reading posts as I was away!

  28. Beautiful post, Arti....amazing how a magnificent street gallery can be seen right in the heart of Melbourne.
    Came here after a long time and enjoyed reading this blog. Thanks for sharing....:)

  29. I love street art. I always stop whenever I see someone creating something unique and I would have stopped with these guys. They are great.

  30. This looks great, we.are headin to Australia soon, will definitely check these out.

  31. Have visited Melborne but before my marriage ..lovely post and good photography...thanks for the comments though I was so busy with my children u came to my blog and commented....this is a special THANK YOU to one of my v good blogger friend :)

  32. Oh yes- Im a big fan of street art - these look so fun! You have convinced me dear Arti - have to make it to Melbourne some time!! Lovely posts you have from there - have enjoyed them so much dear friend!!!Big hugs

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