Ultimate guide on where to find street art in Brisbane
Hidden down laneways, along underpasses and across the city’s facade is an abundance of Brisbane street art to rival both Melbourne and Sydney. Brisbane may be known for year-round sunshine and outdoor activities, but its trail of street art from Fortitude Valley to South Bank and New Farm is quickly becoming one of the city’s main attractions.
Discover the ultimate guide to Brisbane street art with our top picks of murals, sculptures, installations and heritage-listed graffiti.
Brisbane Powerhouse is one of the top stops on the Brisbane street art trail. The historic landmark that dates back to the 1920s once supplied electricity to the largest tram network in the southern hemisphere but was decommissioned in 1971. It became home to underground artists, performers and the homeless, resulting in heritage-listed graffiti art. The powerhouse reopened in 2000, transforming into Queensland’s home for contemporary culture with a collection of graffiti, permanent art and installations on display both inside and out, featuring artists including Lister, Blek le Rat, Cezary Stulgis, Kasino and more.
Located near the retail hub of Queen Street Mall is famous Burnett Lane. The historic laneway sits on the site of the Queen Street Prisoner’s Barracks Yard, which dates back to the early 1800s. In recent years, Brisbane’s oldest working lane has since been transformed into a Melbourne-esque laneway with an array of trendy Brisbane bars, restaurants and cafes. The lane has also become a Brisbane street art haven, showcasing a variety of street art and graffiti styles, including the must-see tiny red door by environmental artist Mace Robertson and blue duck and birds by Blu Art Xinja.
Fish Lane Arts Precinct
Fish Lane Arts Precinct, another Brisbane street art hub, is a vibrant inner-city laneway located in bustling South Brisbane. Set amongst cultural highlights, including QAGOMA, Queensland Museum, Queensland Performing Arts Centre and the city’s thriving South Bank, Fish Lane is filled with festive bars, restaurants and an abundance of evolving street art. The lane is lined with graffiti, sculptures, light installations and murals, with a variety of galleries and performance spaces that make this lane one of the best in Brisbane. Here you will find the works of internationally renowned Fintan Magee, Frank and Mimi and other established and lesser-known artists.
Elizabeth Street is located in the heart of Brisbane’s CBD and is home to one of the city’s most famous permanent street artworks. The impressive mural by emerging Australian artist Claire Foxton sits on a building facade on 280 Elizabeth Street. It depicts the profile of Alethea Beetson from the Queensland Museum and Digi Youth Arts. The striking blue portrait, done in a photorealistic style, seeks to recognise her work with Indigenous children in art and is a key feature on art tours of Brisbane.
Queen Street Mall
Queen Street Mall is the perfect place for a little retail therapy as well as a little culture fix. Here you will find the iconic sculpture entitled ‘Gestation’ created by American artist Baile Oakes. The large spiralling sculpture, located at the top of the mall, was commissioned for the World Expo ’88 and represents the world and its balance with nature. Make your way down the mall toward the river, and you will reach Brisbane Square, home to more spherical sculptures created by Donna Marcus. The work entitled “Stream” is made up of metal spheres made of aluminium that light up the square at night.