Skip To Content
  • BuzzFeed Mates badge

14 Reasons Why Newtown Has The Best Street Art In Sydney

It's definitely more than just graffiti tagging on random walls.

When you hear the word graffiti you might immediately think about the messy, unsightly tags on walls. But what if I told you that street art can be so much more than "just graffiti"?

Newtown, in Sydney's inner-west, is proof of this.

1. Firstly, and most importantly, the council works with street artists from the area to fight tagging on personal property.

BuzzFeed

The idea behind it is to transform boring, plain walls into art, because the work of a street artist is usually respected and therefore not tagged by others. Plus, it is very pretty to look at, cheaper than covering up the walls over and over again, and enhances the area.

2. The street art often addresses current topics and raises awareness.

BuzzFeed

The first picture is the work of two popular and well known artists in Newtown, who picked the bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef as the central theme.

The artist in the second picture wanted to raise awareness for the local project "Bring Back the Butterflies", which aims to bring butterflies, bees, and other flying wildlife back to the city's inner-west.

3. Aboriginal history plays an important role.

BuzzFeed

This artwork is one the most photographed and famous pieces in Newtown. It was painted in 1991 by two artists to promote tolerance and equality. The Aboriginal flag was added a few years later.

The smaller painting on the wall next to it is a response to the big painting, referring to the Aboriginal culture.

4. And Aboriginal street art is so beautiful.

BuzzFeed

This very vivid and colourful piece has traditional elements and shows different Australian animals, including kangaroos, emus, and platypuses.

5. Some walls look different every week.

BuzzFeed

This is one of the walls in Newtown that is known to change its look on a regular basis and probably has a new design already.

6. And some places allow graffiti on their walls.

BuzzFeed

This place is actually the very popular bar Mary's. The owners don't mind the graffiti spraying on the walls, because it adds to the character of the building.

7. The work of local artists are displayed on the main street.

BuzzFeed

The purpose of the Newtown Art Seat is to present art to the local community and give artists the chance to display their work. Artists can submit their work to the Art Seat, but because there are so many applicants, there’s no guarantee they’ll be picked.

8. Street art increases the value of houses.

BuzzFeed

Due to constant graffiti tagging the owners of this house decided to get the back wall painted before selling it. A very good decision: the house sold for about $2,000,000.

9. Street art – and especially graffiti – is not legal, but tolerated.

BuzzFeed

Funnily enough, this street that’s full of graffiti is opposite the police station in Newtown. Because it's become so synonymous with the suburb it is tolerated, but it's still not legal.

10. Newtown street artists question what's happening in the world at the moment.

BuzzFeed

This question mark graffiti is scattered all over Newtown and can be interpreted as an overall question about the future. They started popping up when the topic of same-sex marriage in Australia came up.

11. There's a street where artists paint in squares, which shows the different styles of various artists.

BuzzFeed

Somebody came up with the idea of painting in squares and many artists followed that lead. Now, there are a lot of different designs by various artists, which can be seen as a kind of portfolio of what the street art scene in Newtown has to offer.

12. Street art can also include stickers and sculptures.

BuzzFeed

Yes, stickers and sculptures like the one in the right picture are also street art. It gives the scene kind of a mixture and makes it really versatile.

13. This is street art, too.

BuzzFeed

These are little posters that are painted before they are attached to the wall. People use this kind of street art, because it is a fast way of spreading the artwork. It can be painted at home and put up just in a few seconds, making it less risky than spraying graffiti.

14. And where else can you get a picture like this?

BuzzFeed

The colours on a typical Newtown wall popping against a little old car... doesn't that look iconic?

Travel was provided by Tourism Australia. BuzzFeed writers do not guarantee coverage.

Sign Up For The Bring Me! Newsletter!

The latest travel tips, off-the-beaten-path experiences, and inspiration delivered to your inbox.

Newsletter signup form