StreetWORKS

StreetWORKS

About StreetWORKS

Since 2024, Maribyrnong City Council’s StreetWORKS program has created innovative street art to enliven public spaces and enhance the visual attractiveness and liveability of our City. 

The program provides professional development opportunities for artists to express and enhance their artistic practice by activating sites in the Maribyrnong neighbourhood (eg. railway abutments, bridges, property walls). 

The program inspires mutual respect by linking professional artists with property owners and businesses to develop themed designs for exterior sites. The resulting artworks express our City’s local stories, environments, and social or cultural themes. 

StreetWORKS allows for the arts to inspire, uplift and connect the entire community.

 Project Outcomes

  • Showcase innovative visual art in urban environments
  • Animate identified sites
  • Discourage graffiti and tagging
  • Engage artists with community
  • Improve liveability and safety in City of Maribyrnong

StreetWORKS 2023-24 

In 2023, Council received State Government investment to expand the StreetWORKS program within Footscray’s central business district.

The aim was to enliven community spaces, foster creativity, and deter vandalism. This partnership produced ten new artworks, including the light-based public art commission Welcome to Footscray by Brook Andrewand nine bold and colourful new street art murals by:

  • Katherine Gailer
  • Tom Civil
  • Hayden Dewar
  • Justine McAllister
  • Liv McCarten           
  •  Madi Mercer
  • Abbey Rich & Olana Janfa   
  • Eric Sesto
  • Daniel van de Wiel       

 

A new Street Art Walking Map has been produced, showcasing murals and public artworks commissioned or co-funded by Maribyrnong City Council. These walking maps are available from Maribyrnong Libraries and Community Centres from July 2024 and can also be downloaded at the link below.

Download Street Art Walking Map: Footscray(PDF, 8MB)

Artist Statements for StreetWORKS 2023-24 Artworks

Abbey Rich & Olana Janfa: 

This is Footscray is a playful and warm work, a true collaboration between two artists, Abbey Rich and Olana Janfa, and the community. Rich and Janfa say, “Young people and their families/carers walk along this route every day to school and we got to know many of the locals while painting this work. We wanted this mural to feel like it is a reflection of them and for them to enjoy every day. This work is playful and warm, a true collaboration between the two artists. Some of the young people stopped to paint with us as they walked home from school.”

Liv McCarten:

In Bloom was inspired by the vitality of flowers: the building owners had previously worked in the flower market trade, and at the time, artist Liv McCarten was also working part-time at a florist. McCarten says, “The large florals stretch across the building and layered within the background are multiple Albanian eagles, representative of the owners heritage. This piece combines elements of both the past and present. Vivid and bold colours are used to fill shapes that flow across the building, brightening up one of the central locations of Footscray.

Daniel van de Wiel:

Daniel van de Wiels' mural, The Time Depot, pays homage to the bygone era of trains and trams in Footscray. Van de Wiel says, “This nostalgic piece celebrates the bustling rail and transport junction of Footscray, a gateway to Melbourne's western suburbs for many years. The mural captures the essence of the area's rich history and serves as a nostalgic tribute to its transportation heritage. The mural draws inspiration from classic art deco rail and travel posters, showcasing a beautiful blend of nostalgia and modern artistry.”

Justine McAllister:

The building owner’s love of dragons was the inspiration behind Dragon Dream by Justine McAllister. McAllister says, “The dragon holds significant symbolism in Chinese mythology, representing prosperity, luck, power, and wisdom. According to legend, dragons also control the natural elements, such as the sea, wind, fire, and rain clouds. In contrast to the prevalent portrayal of dragons in public spaces with dark and aggressive imagery, Dragon Dreams offers an alternative aesthetic. The mural imbues a gentle and serene atmosphere, presenting the dragon in a more peaceful light while still honouring its rich symbolism and cultural significance.”

Madi Mercer:

Even when they step on our flowers, our seeds will still bloom represents the strength of First Nations people. Mercer says, “This work is a dedication to the Palestinian people first and foremost, and is a tribute to those impacted by, or lost to the violence of Colonial genocide. The flowers represent community and our commitment toward love and solidarity; Poppies for Falesteen, Tulips for Turkey, Lotus for Vietnam, Chocolate lily for my Country (Wadawurrung), and the gum leaves and Manna gum for the Kulin Country that this mural exists upon. Arabic, Wadawurrung, and English write words of love and perseverance.”

Katherine Gailer:

Unity and collective action was the inspiration for Abundance by Katherine Gailer. Gailer says, “Two culturally diverse young women at the mural’s core, presented as intertwined figures, holding seeds in their hands, symbolises togetherness. Their braided hair, from which gums and nature grow, represents the flourishing abundance that results from our shared connections and collaborative efforts towards a common future. Vibrant colours and a magical realism aesthetic serve as an invitation to the public to contemplate the future of the new generation and recognise our integral role within the ecosystem.”

Hayden Dewar:

Navigating through time is inspired by the historical and natural aspects of Footscray and the surrounds. Dewar says of the piece, “A sextant (a maritime navigation tool) is the centrepiece of the mural and a reference to the ship building boom that took place on the banks of the Maribyrnong River in the 1880’s. It is both a reference to Footscray’s history and a metaphor for navigating through the many changes that have taken place in the area. A River Redgum branch intertwines with the sextant making it into a magical vessel. Featured in the artwork, a Red-rumped parrot and Brown tree frog, both native creatures that can be found along the Maribyrnong River.”

Eric Sesto:

Eric Sesto's Migration pays homage to the occupants of the Madhumoti restaurant and their culture. Inspired by the Bangladeshi landscape, Sesto uses the butterfly as a motif for migration. Sesto says, “Butterflies from Bangladesh migrate to Africa, Asia and even parts of Australia throughout the course of their generations. The mural not only highlights the beauty of butterflies, but the beauty of the individuals within the Footscray community who have migrated from all sides of the planet.”

Tom Civil:

Garden of Life celebrates the joy of a garden. Civil says, “The mural features an orb weaver spider, a bee, a dragonfly, nestersions, and an apple tree branch in bloom, snail shells and a praying mantis! The mural also features local indigenous flowers billy buttons, which makes connections with the local Billy Buttons Creek in Footscray. The title of the mural references a favourite old slogan of mine, ‘Life’s a Garden – Dig it!’ This mural is dedicated to my dear nature loving young friend Rue who took their own life in 2023. We shared much joy in our gardens together. Peace.”

 

 

Removing graffiti

If your property has been tagged, you can request a voucher to purchase a graffiti removal kit. The kit includes a graffiti removal product, exterior paint, and a paint roller and tray. Please contact us and we will organise a time to drop by.

Apply to take part

If you are interested in StreetWORKS, contact us at arts@maribyrnong.vic.gov.au or call (03) 9688 0200.