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Byron Shire
April 23, 2021

Where’s the street art in Byron?

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As a visitor to Byron Bay from Melbourne who has family in Ballina I couldn’t help but notice on my most recent visit the lack of street art in the town.

For a community that is supposed to be so creative I would have thought that the local council would encourage local artists to create interesting street art to liven up the town.

Melbourne  has some amazing graffiti art in the city which would look fabulous on some of the drab walls and buildings in the town.

There is a fine line between laid back and shabby and I am afraid on this visit I felt that Byron had crossed into the shabby territory.

There seems to be little attempt to beautify the streetscape and surroundings of the town.

The trees and plantings are bedraggled, shop fronts dirty and run down and just a general down at heel feel which has nothing to do with the famous Byron character and perhaps just an excuse for local government to not spend money.

Also landlords and shop keepers should have more pride in their property and environment and make more of an effort.

Perhaps take a leaf out of the delightful Bangalow’s book where it is obvious the locals,shop keepers and restaurant owners take pride in their businesses and surroundings.

Louise Mott, Mentone, Victoria

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  1. In response to Louise Mott.

    I was thinking just the other day how great it was that Byron had so many murals around town. Whales, surfers and hippies seemed to get pride of place on a number of walls.

    I agree that more is better in terms of art, there should be more sculpture particularly – and that some shop fronts and pavements would definitely benefit from investment.

    Melbourne has a focus on the arts, with a number of art schools and museums in walking distance of each other. Byron doesn’t really have any of that. Byron is a beach town, a town of markets and enjoying the outdoors.

    But in saying that, I do hope we can improve our public art and murals etc, and inspire artists to make works for those “drab” walls, and for council and businesses to supply paint and funding for the arts. Maybe we could have a “We want to be like Melbourne” competition (just joking).

    • Agree with you David.From Melbourne, studied Art.Away for 14 years,last visit,a friend gave me a quick tour of a few lanes with graffiti murals.Wasn’t really impressed and probably would have missed them considering the size of the CBD.Maybe a clean up around Byron without too much “makeup” or manicured lawns and gardens,for this seaside landscape.

  2. I agree that many shopfronts do an absolutely appalling job at maintaining their locations. Some take the approach that they’re ” just renters ” and throw it back on the owner to deal with or simply take a dont-care attitude. It’s mind-boggling, the lack of care or thought.

    There is a decent effort by the local chamber of commerce/Byron United to convert some wall spaces into local street art, so all is not lost and small changes are happening. A few murals have gone up sound town here and there – I ghink the level of work is a bit sub-par, but that’s just my opinion and art is subjective afterall. But, on the shopfront level its staggering the lack of care and therefor lack of respect the retailers and service providers show their customers when it comes to making their places appealing.


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