If you love street art as much as I do then you are in for a treat as Ipswich Central was a hot spot for some of Australia’s top street artists as part of the 2020 Brisbane Street Art Festival.
Ipswich is fast becoming a hot spot for art that takes you outside the four walls of a traditional gallery to give you a chance to admire the creativity, meaning and sense of freedom that street art offers. With seven new murals, it’s once again time to lace up your walking shoes and out for an adventurous day of street art sightseeing. And once you’ve seen the new works check three of my old favourite street art pieces, two at the Central Mission Church and a flying owl on the Goleby & Sons building.
To help you locate these works I’ve curated an Ipswich street art day trip which starts with catching the train from Brisbane. Leave the car at home and jump on an Ipswich train which will take you directly to Ipswich Central, the hub of Ipswich street art.
Hop off the train at Ipswich Central Station and once you’re out of the station make you way to Nicholas St, to begin our adventure.
Artist: Gus Eagleton, Icon Alley, Nicholas St Precinct
The Unveiling is an impressive mural situated in Icon Alley. Depicting a Thursday night in Ipswich, as cars lap the block, the mural shows the lead singer from Ipswich band, Feels Club, as he unveils his camouflage hoodie.
Grad a coffee from Strictly Coffee and walk to the top of The Mall, then across Brisbane Street and head down to the Ipswich Art Gallery.
Artist: Emily Devers, Ipswich Art Gallery, D’Arcy Doyle Place
Painted on the lower side wall of Ipswich Art Gallery is Emily Devers’ contribution to the Brisbane Street Art Festival. As an artist and gallery owner, Emily’s mural is a reflection on her experience of isolation during COVID-19.
Artist: David Houghton, Central Mission Church
Central Mission Church is home to two magnificent bird artworks. One side of the building next to Central Mission Church is painted with a beautiful sunset scene with two realistic fairy wrens painted by David Houghton.
Artist: RC Collective, Central Mission Church
The other side of the building has a larger than life painting of a dove by RC Collective. Both pieces are definitely worth hunting down as their sheer size and realistic detail is incredible.
Artist: Mike Shankster, Goleby & Sons, Brisbane St
Walk along Brisbane Street and down behind F. Goleby & Sons to the car park and turn around to the back of the building to admire the magnificent flying owl painted by Mike Shankster. This large scale work represents the eternal and never ending process of learning.
Artist: Ash Taylor, Dancing Bean Cafe, 164 Brisbane St
Breath is a very beautiful and immensely colourful mural reminding us of the importance of self-care and compassion for others. In Ash’s own words her work “encourages the viewer to take a moment for themselves to take a second to breathe, to distance themselves, find nature and to find mindfulness”. This stunning and meaningful piece is perfectly situated on the wall of Dancing Bean Cafe & Roastery, so why not grab yourself a cup of something and a slice of cake and like the artist says, sit down and take a moment to breathe.
Artist: Christina Huynh, Studio 188, Brisbane St
After your relaxing stop at Dancing Bean Cafe, head back onto Brisbane Street and up to Studio 188 where you’ll locate Finding Light in the Shadow. This extended mural, painted in shades of blue, yellow, cream and orange is in the artists words “the exploration of light and darkness and how one can’t exist without the other, reflective of the times we live in today”.
Take a walk, along the winding path at Studio 188, in the shade of the trees, to fully appreciate and admire the creativity of this wonderful artwork.
Artist: Jordache, Fire Station 101, Limestone St
Tucked around the back of Fire Station 101 is urban contemporary artist, Jordache’s geometric contribution to the art festival. Look up and you’ll find this futuristic artwork.
Feeling like something to eat and drink? Head to Fourthchild Cafe on Brisbane St to satisfy your hunger and then make your way to Limestone Street Centre for the next stop on our street art tour.
Artist: Fintan Magee, Limestone St Centre
Two figures behind glass is an outstanding contribution to this year’s festival. The enormity of this mural is breath taking, the technique used by Magee is incredible, as he illustrates what it’s like looking through Arctic glass at two figures, and the inspiration behind the piece so relevant to Ipswich.
The mural symbolises the importance of essential workers, transport, delivery and medical staff who continued working during COVID-19 to keep our economy going and food supply moving. Don’t miss seeing this magnificent artwork, it’s my favourite.
Before our last stop be sure to make a detour via Oikos cafe for a final coffee stop before heading home.
Artist: Rachael Sarra, Ipswich Health Plaza
The last of the new Ipswich street art brings us almost back to Ipswich Central railway station, here you can see Rachel Sarra’s Distant Country. Bright and bold in her trademark pink, orange, red and white with a symbolic blue figure. Rachel explains her piece best: ”as I walk day to day, distant from my country but guided by my ancestors, I feel the energy of the earth connecting with me”.
That brings us to the end of our street art tour of Ipswich Central. Experience these murals painted by some of the best artists in Australia many with strong ties to Ipswich for yourself.
Check out the full Ipswich Street Art Trail online here.