Graffiti Along the Lines

Northcote has a lot of good basic stencil art around Separation St. including the ironic/hypocritical: “Say NO To GRAFFITI!” stencil. A number of the stencils gave the impression of being two colour stencils when in reality it was the one stencil with two different colours lightly applied. The Epping line with all the cuttings and suburban houses in Northcote does not have many suitable locations for graffiti but there are a few good pieces where the conditions are suitable.

On the Williamstown line there is more blockbuster style pieces, possibly due to the trackside architecture. There are also more horror images; monsters, zombies with gunshot wounds (but that could just be a trend in graffiti across all Melbourne). Near Spotswood there was a figure made of milk crates climbing a wire mesh fence, this is a remarkable example of street art sculpture.

Along my own, Upfield line it is a case of build a wall and they will graffiti it. There is always new work appearing including two new pieces by Shime featuring his distinctive cartoon green lizard.

On the eastern suburban lines there is plenty of good work around Richmond to South Yarra and in the East Richmond station carpark. But I don’t often travel further east than that. Melbourne’s railway lines radiate out from the CBD without any interconnection. This can make it hard to get between relatively close suburbs unless they happen to be on the same railway line. I haven’t travelled on all Melbourne’s railway lines recently, this is not a comprehensive survey; doubtless there is some quality graffiti along every line. The quantity and quality of the graffiti along the railway lines varies due to the architecture and zoning along the line.

Advertising has appeared at some stations about the about the big fines for carrying spray paint cans. At Hawksburn station this propaganda has been already tagged.


I bought a copy of Illegal Fame magazine, the 1st Anniversary Edition. Illegal Fame features aerosol street art from all of Australia’s capitol cities. There is not much editorial, just a couple of pages of news and reviews, most of it provided by the major advertiser Ironlak an Australian aerosol paint manufacturer. There is not much advertising either. Mostly it is just pages and pages photographs of the great aerosol street art organised by city. The most interesting article was about the Ghostwriter project where pairs of artists paint a piece based on a sketch by the other artists. There is Rakas vs Phibs, Okies vs Meks, Vans vs Sirums, and Aeons vs Misterys. Illegal Fame is not the kind of magazine that you will read and throw away, it belongs on the bookcase bound in leather.


About Mark Holsworth

Writer and artist Mark Holsworth is the author of two books, The Picasso Ransom and Sculptures of Melbourne. View all posts by Mark Holsworth

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