Tag Archives: street party

Neighbourhood

On Sunday morning I was painting my new bullnose verandah. Standing on the scaffolding at the front of the house I had a view of my neighbourhood. As I paint I talk with my neighbours as they come and go.

Anstey Village Street Party

Anstey Village Street Party

When I finish with the painting Catherine and I go to a neighbourhood picnic at McCleery Reserve. This was part of Neighbour Day 2015 an annual celebration of community by Relationships Australia. There was a lot of talk about traffic problems on Munroe Street, too many cars and no pedestrian crossing.

Later in the afternoon I went to the Anstey Village Street Party and Zine Fair in Florence Street. For some people Anstey is just another small station on the Upfield Line but for other people it is home. Brunswick is made up of small districts each with their own character and Anstey is its creative heart. It had some of the first legal wall of graffiti (see my posts Coffee with Jamit and Legal Street Art in Brunswick), two art galleries, lots of artist studios in the area and recently, a lot of new multi-storey apartments, (see my post Graffiti at The Commons).

The street party was a strange mix between an art event, like an exhibition opening, a trendy market and a garage sale. Free face painting for adults by kids. There were a few bicycle carts, Soul System providing music and The Good Brew Co. selling some kind of brew.

Be Free on Florence Street Warehouse

Be Free on Florence Street Warehouse

Some of the good citizens of the street art scene, Phoenix and Civil had been at work in Florence Street. The beautifully simple design of the street painting was clearly the work of Civil. I didn’t see Civil but I did talk with Phoenix.

In the Florence Street warehouse space, along with the Zine Fair there was Imprint, a non­-profit student organisation from Melbourne Uni that “develops community ­based projects to drive social change”. The big map of Brunswick had been moved from the Desire Lines exhibition at Brunswick Arts Space (see my post Desire Lines @ Brunswick Arts).

How to be part of the community in the suburbs of a big city? Don’t drive your car, walk or ride a bicycle. Don’t live isolated in your house or in your backyard, but spend more time in your front yard. Talk to people. It is both simple and a very complex cultural problem because it needs to be supported by infrastructure, safe bicycle and pedestrian paths, better urban design along with cultural changes.

At both community events I saw the transport system failing; at the first a car reverse into a roundabout sign and, at Anstey the long neglected railway infrastructure breaking down and causing traffic jams at several intersecting roads. No bicycle or pedestrian fails were observed during my day in the neighbourhood.

A collection of old signs on a fence near the Anstey train station

A collection of old signs on a fence near the Anstey train station


Street Party & Street Art

On the way to Sydney Rd Street Party, at Brunswick Station I had a good look at the wall of the house that formally had the Alice and hookah smoking caterpillar. This fine but very old piece of street art was replaced with a few aerosol pieces in January. These new pieces have now been replaced with full wall mural featuring some large silver aerosol piece, a scroll, and a Cyclops with a marker pen. It is better than the collection of earlier aerosol pieces but not by much.

I also noticed that Divali was a new gallery on the Art Almanac’s map of Outer Melbourne but as there was no listing I had see for myself. There doesn’t look like there is much art in Divali, it is a gift shop with pretensions. “Body Space Art” is the shop’s slogan and that explains everything.

I saw a lot of people at the Sydney Rd Street Party that I have written about in my old blog. Hi to Joel Gailer, Francisus Henri, Pierre Lloga, all the people at the 696 stall and Pav Art. Pav Art was at the fashion parade. Pav has gone from street to high fashion. And Pav knows how to get noticed; he was carrying his silkscreen stencil of Johnny Depp around as a prop for the parade. His collaboration with Leeana Edward are spectacular, his prints were framed well by Edward’s cut and design. Their striking creations were the clearly the stars of the parade.

As well as the fashion parade, there was a great variety of music from around the world, rock, hip-hop, traditional. “Someone wanted East African music so I put some on.” One DJ remarked. There were food, drinks and the stalls for blocks and more street entertainers from punk tumblers to a black and white medieval juggler. There was a spectacular work of art by Les Futo who created a great spiral mandala out of different coloured old cigarette lighters. It is wonderful when something beautiful is created from rubbish. Les Futo has done this temporary art before at other festivals: “whenever I get the urge,” Les said.

Les Futo's spiral of lighters

My enjoyment of the street party came to an end when I found an idiot had locked his bike to mine. But the full story of that particular idiot will have to be told another time.


%d bloggers like this: