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In this time when the grim reality of fear, negativity, and uncertainty is weighing the world down, art, in all forms, is keeping the hope afloat. Melbourne, like always, has come up with an artsy way to deal with the impacts of the global pandemic—street art! By Sushmita Srivastav
Melbourne sure knows how to express. And during these bleak times, the Australian city has found a rather concrete and unique way of expressing — artists across Melbourne are showing their support, sharing their political views, and appreciating the efforts of frontline heroes by painting the walls of labyrinthine lanes with vibrant street arts.
Finding inspiration in the current situation of dealing with COVID-19, artists have found this meaningful way of generating positivity, applauding the ones fighting daily, and sending out one message very clearly—we are together in this!
Here are Melbourne’s COVID-19 survival and revival in pictures:
The one in Hosier Lane by John Lawry
A piece in Melbourne’s famous street art showcase, Hosier Lane, is more of a mirror. A young woman, just like the rest of us, wearing a face mask stares out, looking a little alarmed, a little worried, a little hopeful.
The one in Black Rock by Brigitte Dawson and Melissa Turner
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FRONTLINE HEROES we @melbournesmurals would like to say a massive THANK YOU to all medics who are out there fighting the fight. Please share this mural to all your frontline working friends to say thank you #covid_19 #blackrock #mural #streetart #heroes #thankyou #doctors #nurses #angel #fighting #world #crisis #graffiti #handpainted #mural #worldstreetart #isolation #stayhome #saveslives #urbanart #world #medical #protectyourself #australia #melbourne #victoria 606 Balcombe Rd Blackrock
Artists Brigitte Dawson and Melissa Turner, of Melbourne’s Murals, painted a thank you mural to medical staff in a lane off the Balcombe Road in Black Rock. The piece depicts a medical worker with wings, holding up the globe as he stands on the novel Coronavirus. A true tribute to our frontline heroes!
The one in Northcote by Amanda Newman
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Here are some still shots of the Ai Fen mural. See my previous post for some background info. This was done before the more serious lockdowns. While being a “street artist” comes with flouting some rules, I don’t enjoy that part and always try to be thoughtful and respectful of when/where/what I paint. So when it became clear that continuing to paint murals outside was not okay I chose to stop rather than rebel. I’ll be continuing to stay informed and will be back out painting as soon as my common sense tells me it’s okay. #stayhome but also (depending on where you live and your personal circumstances), please go outside to get daylight and exercise everyday (responsibly). Mental and physical health are really important right now ❤️ . . . . . #coronavirus #aifen #covidheroes #covid #covidkindness #covidart #covid19 #frontlineworkers #frontlineheroes #whistleblowers #yourvoicematters #streetart #mural #australia #streetartmelbourne #alwayshandpaint #ladieswhopaint #streetartchat #quaranteam_streetart #coronastreetart
Painted on a pillar of a railway overpass in Urquhart Street, Northcote, this one is of Dr Ai Fen, a senior doctor at Wuhan Central Hospital who in December 2019 shared with colleagues information about patients with what we now know as COVID-19. She was reprimanded and accused of spreading rumours. The artist, Amanda Newman, said it’s a tribute to an unsung hero.
The one in Prahran Square by Skübz Mope
In a mural in Prahran Square in Prahran, the artist Skübz Mope depicts a toilet roll with DON’T PANIC printed on it. His main aim, Mope says, was to get people to take a step back and simply have a good laugh.