Stop 3: Brunswick St

Walking on Brunswick Street is not the same as walking on Rose Street. The spatial setting starts to somewhat change as we make our way towards where the artists were forced to pack their bags and head to next, Collingwood. In the meantime, there is a change in the type of graffiti we see. Brunswick St is overcrowded with shops and restaurants leaving little space for the creative mind. The street is bigger and busier, and as soon as you step onto it, you feel the rush of commercialisation hit you. With so much going on, there is little space left on the canvas. Perhaps this explains the declining frequency of murals we see on the street as we walk towards our next stop. Like this wall, murals are still seen but tagging is more of a common sight along this street. As we keep walking, murals are more frequently replaced with tagging and stickers. Most of the tagging is done on walls in the spaces between shops. Presumably, tagging and stickers are more common due to less space to construct big murals. In a city where tagging is characterized as vandalism, this graffiti does not hold any obvious aesthetic value unlike the artwork in the CBD or Rose St. To an observant eye, the tension between the artist and the property owner is not left unnoticed. Periodic repainting of the walls to cover the graffiti alludes to the tension and resistance toward the art.

Thus, there is a potential correlation often left unexplored. The visible aesthetic of the property is indicative of rising property prices. Murals add to this aesthetic and become a potentially contributing factor in gentrification. The acceptance of this art, and the very promotion of it, might actually end up benefiting business owners by increasing their property value; with no costs involved on their part due to generosity of the artists.