Where to find street art in Brisbane
Wandering through Brisbane’s streets on a bright sunny day is a treat in itself, but if you look a little closer, there is a world of art hidden in plain sight. Street art is an exciting and developing part of Brisbane's cultural landscape and with such good weather - why not move the art outdoors?
Brisbane is embracing street art in all its evolving forms with programs like Brisbane Street Art Festival (BSAF), The Pillars Project, the revival of World Expo 88 Art, Artforce Traffic Signal Boxes, Outdoor Gallery spaces and many commissioned public works. So, to help you find your way, we have devised a breakdown of some cracker locations. Pick your own adventure and discover the next painting, paste-up, roller, throw-up, blockbuster, scribe, slap or sculpture around Brisbane.
Fortitude Valley |
| West End + South Brisbane |
William Jolly Bridge throughout the year displays multiple artists work for festivals and major events. The bridge becomes a public canvas for the city, creating a spectacular landscape and crossing between the north and south banks of the river.
Take a stroll along Burnett Lane and look for the tiny red door - 45a Burnett Lane. This piece is by local guerilla and environmental artist Mace Robertson. Referred to by locals as the fairy door, this piece helps us find a little magic and whimsy in our everyday life. You can check out Robertson's new door located at no.11 Bakery Lane, Fortitude Valley.
Cate Storey | Corner of Elizabeth St & Creek St
Cate Storey along with David Fisher painted one of Brisbane’s traffic signal boxes as part of a Brisbane City Council initiative. Created in 2014 and standing the test of time, this piece depicts the beloved Ibis or bin chicken taking over Brisbane. Her inspiration is ‘the ordinary is pretty extraordinary in Brisbane’. Keep your eyes peeled as these traffic signal boxes are acting as canvases all across Brisbane.
Artforce Traffic Signal Boxes
Gestation is part of a series of sculptures created by American artist Baile Oakes. This piece was commissioned for World Expo '88 and the artwork itself was created in Seattle. The large spiral sculpture represents the world and represents its balance with nature. It has become a focal point at the top of the mall and its burnished gold colour looks pretty spectacular at sunset.
Part of World Expo 88
All throughout Brisbane City, the Blu Art Ninja has left his signature artwork for you to find and enjoy. If you wander up Burnett Lane you might spot some flying birds or a blue duck waddling along in a top hat. This artist keeps his identity a secret, dressed as a ninja, climbing difficult and unexpected places to share his art.
Robert Juniper | City Botanic Gardens, Bunya Walk
This piece known as Plant Form is an interpretation of the artist's abstract landscapes depicted in his painting. Using oversized steel planes, this piece references Australian fauna and was also commissioned as part of World Expo '88.
Part of World Expo 88
Part of the Brisbane City Council’s Outdoor Gallery initiative this grouping of gallery lightboxes helps bring art to the streets of Brisbane. These outdoor galleries often display pieces that correspond to local events taking place and are on constant rotation throughout the year. Definitely worth visiting a few times throughout the year to see what new work is up.
This stunning work depicts the profile of the Artistic Director of Digi Youth Arts who is a strong and proud Aboriginal woman in the Brisbane community. Foxton wants her work to create a dialogue with the local community building an intrinsic link between artist, artwork and voyeur. Using a photorealistic style accented by brightly colourful paint strokes the artist’s style concentrates on shape and texture to bring her subject to life.
Part of BSAF
ASIO | 251 Wickham Street
ASIO’s work mixes fine art with street art. He uses high art and repurposes it into photo montages of landscapes and textures turning them into large area paste-ups. Working closely with existing architecture he often uses archways and architectural features as framing for his work. ASIO also turns surfboards and skateboards into beautiful pieces of art. This piece features a beautiful landscape of Melun, France. If you stand closer to the work you can see the smaller image sections that make up the piece.
Part of BSAF
BEASTMAN | 4ZZZ Radio Station | 264 Barry Parade
Beastman in world-famous artist Bradley Eastman from Sydney Australia. His style is informed by natures Fibonacci Sequence with a focus on the repetitive geometric growth of flora and organic shapes. He explores a unique visual language that depicts future landscapes and animals with bold bright colours. The mural on 4ZZZ echoes the idea of musical currents and changing societal influences.
Guss | 28 McLachlan Street
This vibrant, bright and beautiful mural spans the side of an Energex Substation and depicts a woman sitting and listening to records. This piece pays tribute to band Desmond Cheese, exploring what it is to reflect on music and the people who produce and listen to it. The negative space is used to silhouette the figure and the bright watercolour type colours travel down the length of the building.
Part of BSAF
Lee Harden and Tony Lee | 37 McLachlan Street
With towers of white cargo containers making up the main structure of this urban outdoor space, visiting X Cargo is an experience in itself. What makes this venue even more unique is the two-story mural of a pink flamingo. The piece was worked on by Lee who is an internationally-renowned aerosol artist and Tony who specialises in type and sign writing. Admire this pink feathered friend while grabbing a drink.
Drapl & Treazy | Ric’s Bar, 321 Brunswick Street
Check out this eye candy. With bright and vibrant hues and block colours, this piece celebrates light and colour taking you on a journey that explores the workings of the universe, nature and the human spirit. So, get on a new astral plane and check out this piece.
Part of BSAF
Fuzeillear | The Tivoli Theatre, 52 Costin Street
Black and white, shadow and light is definitely the style guide for Fuzeillears work. She creates work that seems to suspend time and create a calm and still space for the voyeur to escape in - something the artist says she struggles to find in real life. This detailed work shows a wolf suspended in the moon floating in the universe.
Part of BSAF
John Underwood | Stanley Street Plaza
The Human Factor Sculpture is suspended on an imaginary high-wire above the Stanley Street Plaza looking down over those who come to visit the area. Made of fibreglass and commissioned for World Expo 88 this whimsical circus performer is decked out in a top hat while riding a unicycle.
Make your way to River Quay and see if you can spot the artwork Time & Tide. It is a beautiful three-part poem that examines South Bank’s rich history from Aboriginal culture and Dreamtime through to European settlement.
Bruce Reynolds | Grey Street + Brisbane Convention Centre + Exhibition Centre
Three giant geometric gem-like sculptures dot the streets in South Bank and make up the series Pamphlet. The individual sculptures (Tea Leaf Paradox, Unfolded and Fortune) are made up of panels which feature photography images, wallpaper and vinyl patterns. Each piece is installed in an unexpected or bizarre way. Examine them from every angle and see what colours and pictures leap out at you.
BAO HO | 105 Melbourne Street
Hong Kong-based international artist Bao Ho’s vibrant mural is located above the iconic Paladar Fumior Salon in South Brisbane. Her work is freestyle in nature with a focus on illustration and line work. This particular mural depicts an oceanic scene with whales, fish, a cat and a variety of other creatures blending seamlessly together. See how many you can find.
Part of BSAF
Fintan Magee| Merviale Street & Crnr of Fish Lane + Hope Street
Queensland College of Art graduate Fintan Magee has public artworks in Australia, USA and Europe. His works address environmental issues and cultural and social issues like climate change and he often uses personal experience to inform his work. His first piece is part of the Pillars Project on the Merivale Bridge underpass represents the Brisbane floods. His second piece in Fish Lane is called ‘Head In the Clouds’ and takes up an entire building. It depicts the de-industrialisation of South Brisbane areas and the change the area has undergone from factories and warehouses to a cultural precinct full of housing and quality restaurants.
Part of BSAF + Pillars Project
Fight like a butterfly sting like a bee - towering over the Vietnamese restaurant Hello Please is an iconic image of Muhammad Ali. Enjoy some tasty food and bao down to this amazing monochrome mural.
See if you can find the tiny Raptor dinosaur running along Fish Lane. These guys are blue and made by the similar named masked Xinja. Keep your eyes peeled for more of his work around Brisbane.
If you look upwards you will see some light boxes that hold a rotating selection of artists work throughout the year. Offering audiences a chance to reflect on Brisbane’s evolving art scene and exhibit Brisbane's rich cultural diversity and collective cultural history.
This striking monochrome mural by internationally renowned Australian artist Guido Van Helton looms larger than life over the carpark behind The Gabba Stadium. His work is inspired by documentary and cultural research. This impactful piece adopts a style that replicates brushstrokes, while the position of the subject offers up a fragility that is reinforced by the delicate flower depicted over the model's shoulder.
Part of BSAF
Canvas cocktail bar is definitely worth a stop in just to admire the walls. But with an exceptional cocktail list, wine and beer selection, along with delicious bites you might want to stay a little longer. Make your way to the back courtyard to see the giant, fun image of a man with a bird nose (commedia dell’arte style) chasing a bird. With so many art pieces littering the walls (and menu) make sure you stick your beak in to have a look.
A Ungari man from Murgon, Kane’s work explores the environment that surrounds him. He uses lines and dots to create a visual language of distinctive patterns and shapes that illustrates his contemporary vision of the world.
Part of BSAF
There are so many more amazing artworks around Brisbane and we could spend forever finding and writing about them. This selection is to start you on your street art exploration. If, on your travels, you find a piece that deserves to be listed drop us an email at [email protected].