From art elevating humble traffic signal boxes, great graffiti, and moody murals, fresh street art in Brisbane seems to be popping up everywhere. Find the best of Brisbane’s graffiti, world-class murals and street art in my thorough guide to street art Brisbane, along with detailed notes on where to find each piece.
This guide to Brisbane street art goes way beyond the obvious spots. From Brisbane’s busy thoroughfares to small, out-of-the-way laneways, discover amazing works of art in several different neighbourhoods on both sides of the Brisbane River. Whilst today we tend to focus on three major clusters of works in West End, South Brisbane and Fish Lane, keep in mind there is plenty of amazing Brisbane graffiti and street art to be found right throughout Brisbane city and its suburbs.
It’s also worth taking a day trip to Ipswich to explore the stunning new Ipswich street art created in August 2020 as part of the Brisbane Street Art Festival (BSAF) 2020.
With an ever-growing number of street art spots to keep track of around Brisbane, I’ve compiled this thorough guide so you can explore one suburb at a time, or just pick and choose which works appeal to you.
Brisbane street art map
In This Post
- Brisbane street art map
- Where to find the best street art in Brisbane
- South Brisbane Street Art
- Fish Lane Street Art
- “Head in the Clouds” by Fintan Magee
- “Message in a Bottle and Octopus” by Fuzeillear
- “Ground Plane” by Elizabeth Woods and Kevin Leong
- “East of the Mountains and West of the Sea” by Lix North
- “Echo” by Nike Savvas
- “The Harvest” by Mimi (aka Emily Devers)
- “Adrift” by Loretta Lizzio
- “The Finished Wall” by Sofles
- West End Street Art
- New Farm
- Best way to see Brisbane street art?
To ensure you don’t miss any street art goodies, I’ve got you covered with a downloadable Google Map of street art mentioned in this post. At the end of each section, you’ll also find a location map listing all works in that particular area.
The following Brisbane street art map covers the neighbourhoods of South Brisbane, West End, and New Farm by identifying the works that I think are worth visiting. Read further down for specific locations, details of artists and plenty of street-art eye candy.
Where to find the best street art in Brisbane
Street art in Brisbane encompasses many forms. With programs such as the Brisbane Street Art Festival, The Pillars Project, Artforce Traffic Signal Boxes, and many commissioned works, there’s plenty of exciting street art is to be found throughout the city centre and suburbs.
Brisbane hosts works by a wealth of notable Australian artists including Fintan Magee, Rone, Adnate, Gus Eagleton, Mik Shida, and Sofles, as well as a plethora of lesser-known artists.
Although this guide includes a huge amount of street art, it nowhere near covers all that is on offer. I have tried to group the works according to their location, so as to enable you to be more efficient on your street art explorations. However, the best way to see several works in one day is to simply hop on an orange e-scooter, grab a bicycle, or simply be prepared to put in a lot of leg-work to find these incredible pieces.
South Brisbane Street Art
The Pillars Project
Consisting of some of Brisbane’s most recognised street art, the Pillars Project is a series of stunning large-scale murals painted across six pillar supports of the Merivale Bridge in South Brisbane. Commissioned by the Queensland Government and Queensland Rail for the G20 in 2014, the series features some of the most accomplished (and globally recognised) artists in Australia. Since this date, five more works have been added, creating an impressive outdoor gallery of Australian artworks.
Works showcase some of Australia’s best street artists, including Adnate, Drapl, Rone, Claire Foxton, Frank and Mimi, Guido Van Helten, Fintan Magee, Gus Eagleton and Mik Shida.
Winding their way from the base of the Merivale Bridge at the river’s edge in South Brisbane and snaking towards South Bank, the ten-metre tall works can easily be seen by walking along Merivale Street, Peel Street and Hope Street.
Where to find it:
Whilst the Pillars Project isn’t named on Google Maps, it’s pretty straightforward to find – even if you don’t know Brisbane very well.
The best place to start is at the base of the Merivale Bridge, at the end of Boundary Street in South Brisbane. Located near the intersection of Merivale Street and Montague Road, simply follow the bridge pylons southeast as they wind up towards Hope Street and Fish Lane.
Note: The Pillars Project ends at Fish Lane (corner Hope Street) in South Brisbane. Since this is just a few minutes’ walk from the inner-city suburb of West End, the Pillars Project, Fish Lane and West End can easily be combined for a solid day of street art exploration.
Fish Lane Street Art
A long, narrow alleyway in South Brisbane full of cafes, bars and restaurants, Fish Lane is also surrounded by galleries, cultural institutions, and, thankfully for us, is packed full of amazing public art. One of the quirkier spots for Brisbane street art due to its eclectic mix of murals, graffiti and even walkable artwork, Fish Lane comes into its own after dark when the eateries and bars come to life.
Another former Brisbane Street Art Festival location, the artworks in Fish Lane feature works by both local and international artists. Spanning four blocks, much of the street art on Fish Lane is giant sized, whimsical and almost impossible to miss.
Explore Fish Lane to find pieces from Fintan Magee, Fuzeillear, Sofles, Blu Art Xinja, Mimi, Bao Ho, Ms Saffaa, and more.
“Head in the Clouds” by Fintan Magee
Fintan Magee, a Sydney-based artist specialising in large-scale murals, grew up in the inner south of Brisbane – so we’ll consider him a local! His life-like murals have graced cities worldwide, with his work often addressing social, cultural and environmental issues, such as climate change.
Located on the corner of Fish Lane and Hope Street (across from the Fox Hotel), the artwork “Head in the Clouds” shows a woman with her face hidden in clouds of cloth – a reference to the area’s former industrial legacy.
Taking up an entire building, this mural depicts the dramatic changes South Brisbane has undergone in recent years. De-industrialisation of the area has seen factories and warehouses replaced with high-density housing, upmarket restaurants and a booming cultural and arts scene.
Where to find it: 70 Hope Street, South Brisbane (Corner of Fish Lane, opposite the Fox Hotel).
“Message in a Bottle and Octopus” by Fuzeillear
Located directly opposite Fintan Magee’s work, don’t miss the striking monochromatic piece by Claire Matthews, aka Fuzeillear. British-born Fuzeillear takes her cues from the ocean with an enormous octopus and jellyfish floating alongside an enormous message in a bottle. The massive artwork envelops the whole front and side facades of the Hello Please Vietnamese restaurant.
Where to find it: 70 Hope Street, South Brisbane (Corner of Fish Lane, behind the Fox Hotel).
“Ground Plane” by Elizabeth Woods and Kevin Leong
Turning the corner, and heading into Fish Lane proper, don’t forget to look down. Snaking its way along the alleyway is a patterned artwork inviting pedestrians to explore further into its depths. The blue and teal tiles, look somewhat like a flowing river, perhaps a nod to the laneway’s moniker?
Where to find it: Fish Lane, South Brisbane.
As you enter into Fish Lane from Hope Street, you’ll immediately notice a colourful group of portraits on your right-hand side. Featuring multiple overlaid, illustrated faces, “I Am My Own Guardian” is a collaborative piece by Ms Saffaa and others. An artist from Saudi Arabia, Ms Saffaa uses her art to highlight the struggles of women in Saudi communities in her distinctive artworks.
Where to find it: Fish Lane, South Brisbane.
“East of the Mountains and West of the Sea” by Lix North
Located at each end of Fish Lane (between Hope Street and Merivale Street) discover two large-scale works by Lix North. Entitled “East of the Mountains and West of the Sea”, the murals pay homage to George Fish, the namesake of Fish Lane. An astute business man and South Brisbane local, George Fish was most famous for his interest in steam during the late 19th century, establishing a steam laundry on nearby Grey Street.
The two steampunk-esque murals face each other, with West depicting George Fish amongst a series of steam pipes, and East representing his future equivalent.
Where to find it: Fish Lane (between Hope Street and Merivale Street), South Brisbane.
Located atop the distinctive red façade of Miss Green’s Beans (formerly the Paladar Fumior Salon), the vibrant mural of Hong Kong based Bao Ho is reminiscent of a cartoon illustration. Depicting an ocean scene full of sea creatures, internationally renowned Bao Ho completed her works as part of the BSAF in 2018. With creatures including fish, whales, flying dragons and a cat – see how many you can find!
Where to find it: 36 Fish Lane (Building 105, on the corner of Fish Lane and Merivale Street), South Brisbane.
“Echo” by Nike Savvas
Giant cellophane-like discs make up this colourful installation by Australian artist Nike Savvas. Suspended above the walkway outside Gelato Messina, the 85 acrylic discs create a rainbow of colour as different light hits it during the day – and its particularly beautiful lit up at night.
Where to find it: 40B Fish Lane (The rear of Gelato Messina), South Brisbane.
“The Harvest” by Mimi (aka Emily Devers)
Representing the four stages of wine production, the soft-pastel hues of “The Harvest” by Mimi celebrate the burgeoning farm-to-table ethos in the South Brisbane area.
Mimi, also known as Emily Devers, uses her signature sweeping brushstrokes to represent wine flowing; taking one on a journey from the growth of the grape, the harvest, wine production and finally, to the enjoyment of wine shared with friends.
Where to find it: 61-39 Fish Lane (opposite the Melbourne Residences), South Brisbane.
“Adrift” by Loretta Lizzio
Gold Coast based artist, Loretta Lizzio completed “Adrift” as part of the 2020 Brisbane Street Art Festival. A timely depiction of the uncertainties of our planet’s future, you can spot this nostalgic mural on the carpark entrance of the Melbourne Residences apartments, opposite Mimi’s “The Harvest” (above).
Where to find it: 50 Fish Lane (carpark entrance to the Melbourne Residences apartments), South Brisbane.
“The Finished Wall” by Sofles
Beginning his career as a graffiti artist in Brisbane, Sofles has gone on to become internationally renowned. The Australian artist’s work seems to be everywhere – and for good reason! This striking black and white mural adorns the wall of 75 Fish Lane. With several female faces painted in a three dimensional style, “The Finished Wall” will be instantly recognizable to fans of Sofles’ work.
Where to find it: 75 Fish Lane (towards the junction of Fish Lane and Manning Street).
Related: The most beautiful parks and gardens in Brisbane
West End Street Art
Renowned for its funky coffee shops, bars and restaurants, the inner city suburb of West End is also home to a plethora of eclectic street art. A stroll through West End’s streets will reveal stunning world-class murals, as well as plenty of hidden treasures tucked in behind buildings, down alleyways and gracing the sides of car parks.
Whilst many of the larger works of art date back to the Brisbane Street Art Festival of 2017, West End’s street art is constantly evolving with creative graffiti – a spot I love to revisit on a regular basis.
The most famous works can be found along the main stretch of Boundary Street, but get off the main drag to find a mix of local graffiti, stencils and creative handiwork. One notable case is the laneway next to Roti Place (see below).
Boundary Street is the main street in West End. There’s plenty of artworks to be found along the stretch between Vulture Street and Norfolk Road. Look out for pieces by Drapl & Treazy, Sofles, Soda Mouf and Hafleg.
Starting from Vulture Street and heading north along Boundary Street, you’ll soon notice a huge green-and-black mural by Sofles wrapped around the exterior of Roti Place restaurant. Don’t miss the hidden artwork in Roti Laneway running alongside the restaurant.
Where to find it: Roti Place, 132 Boundary Street, West End.
Continuing further along Boundary Street, the next artwork you’ll discover graces the façade above The Loft. Local Brisbane artist Soda Mouf creates unique colourful characters, instantly recognisable by their long limbs. Much of Mouf’s art is usually hidden in unexplored nooks and crannies around Brisbane.
Where to find it: The Loft, 100 Boundary Street, West End.
Drapl & Treazy
Where to find it: The Loft, 100 Boundary Street, West End.
Boundary Street Markets
Explore the walls of the carpark to the rear of the Boundary Street Markets, filled with alternative local street art – a very unique space in Brisbane. Open Fridays (from 4 – 10pm), Saturdays (from 10am – 10pm) and Sundays (from 9am-2pm), visit outside these hours to avoid the crowds. Don’t miss the Buddha image and dragon pieces inside the sheds to the rear.
Where to find it: 56 Russell Street (Corner Boundary Street), West End.
Sofles and Getbie
Continuing north along Boundary Street, head towards Falalalah Restaurant on the corner of Boundary and Melbourne Streets. Located on the wall adjacent to the restaurant is a beautiful jewel-coloured piece by Sofles and Getbie.
Where to find it: 193 Melbourne Street (corner of Boundary Street), West End.
Walk further up Boundary street, to the corner of Norfolk Road, to discover a brightly coloured crocodile mural by Hafleg. Created as part of the 2019 Brisbane Street Art Festival, the bright yellow crocodile is wrapped around the exterior of the Energex Substation building. Hafleg (also known as Shaun Lee) is a Larrakia Indigenous mural artist, hailing from Darwin in the Northern Territory.
Where to find it: 1 Norfolk Road (corner Boundary Street), West End.
After all that walking, stop by Who Shot the Barista? for a caffeine hit and to view their sweet trompe l’oeil mural of Tuscany.
Where to find it: 12 Jane Street, West End.
Roti Place Laneway
Stuffed full of contemporary urban art from a variety of artists, the entrance to this laneway can be found next to the Roti Place restaurant on Boundary Street, in between Russell and Vulture Streets. The giant mural by Sofles above Roti Place marks the entrance. Walk deep into the laneway and you’ll find it opens up into a larger square, full of lots of contemporary eye candy.
Where to find it: Roti Place Laneway, adjacent to Roti Place restaurant, 132 Boundary Street, West End.
Don’t miss the stunning mural by The Brightsiders. This giant mural (untitled) of a young girl in the natural environment, covers the whole of the rear wall at 100 Boundary Street – best seen from Russell Street.
View The Brightsiders piece in conjunction with works at the Boundary Street Markets, and some hidden works by Mouf, Squidtank, Beta Machs, and others, in the carpark next to The Burrow Cafe.
Where to find it: Russell Street (rear of 100 Boundary Street), West End.
Browning Street Car Park
Whilst there is just one piece located here (although glimpses of other works in nearby streets will tempt you to keep hunting), it’s definitely worth visiting.
The iconic spray paint baby by Sofles is actually a portrait of the artists’ own daughter. Tucked at the rear of a small carpark on Browning Street, you’ll find the piece after venturing down a small driveway. A working carpark, I’ve yet to be able to get a good photograph of the Sofles’ baby without cars in the way!
Where to find it: Cornerstone Parking, 9 Browning Street, West End.
Known world-wide for his playful street art, this whimsical West End piece by Fintan Magee details a skulk of wild foxes running along a suburban wall – particularly fitting because of the number of foxes often seen in the suburbs at night.
Situated adjacent to the Whynot Street bus-stop (I kid you not, that’s a real street name!), you’ll also find a beautiful work by Mik Shida depicting an elegant, long-limbed bird. An Australian artist, Shida’s work can now be found everywhere from New York and Hong Kong, to Vienna and Berlin. With an instantly recognisable style, his paintings often portray long-limbed figures entwined in provocative poses.
Where to find it: 83 Hardgrave Road, West End.
Vulture Street is a major thoroughfare running through the inner southern suburbs. A wander along Vulture Street will definitely be worth your while to discover some interesting Brisbane street art.
Starting from the intersection of Boundary and Vulture Streets, head West along Vulture Street until you reach Bunyapa Park.
Bunyapa Park (West End Common)
A beautiful community space located in the heart of West End, Bunyapa Park is home to some wonderful public art. Amongst a variety of interesting local works are two pieces which I simply love. The first by Boneta-Marie Mabo (aka Mabolous) incorporates the colours of the Aboriginal flag together with native flowers such as wattle, banksia and gumnuts.
The second is a mural portrait of Sam Watson, one of Meanjin’s most eminent Aboriginal activists. Created by Warraba Weatherall, and commissioned by the Brisbane City Council, the mural honours the late Uncle Sam and his significant role in advocating for Indigenous rights.
Named “Bunyapa” (place of bunya), find Bunyapa Park on the corner of Vulture and Thomas Streets in West End.
Where to find it: 39 Thomas Street and Vulture Street, West End.
Various – 52 Vulture Street
Continue further west on Vulture Street until you reach number 52, a small office block with a narrow driveway containing some cool art pieces.
Where to find it: 52 Vulture Street, West End.
Aleja Hine – 31 Vulture Street
Find this mural by Aleja Hine on a shutter at the side of “All the Green Things” plant shop. Completed in 2019, this soft, pretty piece replaces a former Shida artwork.
Where to find it: 31 Vulture Street, West End.
Set in a former power station alongside the Brisbane River, the Brisbane Powerhouse is a major arts and cultural hub. Often the setting for seasonal performing arts, festivals and visual art exhibits, you’ll find Benjamin Reeve’s “Toxic Fish” mural permanently on display on an external wall. The Australian aerosol artist created this piece as a reflection of the building’s past, together with the current environmental impact of human’s interacting within the space.
Where to find it: Brisbane Powerhouse, 119 Lamington Street, New Farm.
Best way to see Brisbane street art?
Simply pick an area to explore and get going! With so much street art in South Brisbane and West End, I would start here – you really can’t go wrong. All works are within easy walking or cycling distance of each other, making for the perfect weekend activity in Brisbane.
Happy hunting! Let me know your favourite Brisbane street art in the comments below!
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