News & Commentary, Visual Arts

Choose Melbourne’s next work of CBD street art

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Street art tends to have a reputation as being quite democratic, but Melbourne’s QV shopping precinct is taking that rather literally, asking Melburnians to vote for a work to be installed in its Artemis Lane laneway. Curator Andrew Chew, from QV’s No Vacancy Gallery, commissioned four concept sketches from local street artists: Mike Eleven, Loretta Lizzio, Pete Cto and Merda.

In a statement, Chew said: “We have seen a big evolution in street art form and style over the last few years, which was made evident by the entrants this competition received. We couldn’t choose just three, so we now have four diverse artists that each has a unique concept for our wall. Together Mike Eleven, Loretta Lizzio, Pete Cto and Merda represent one of the most eclectic mixes of Melbourne street artists in 2016.”

Here are the works, as well as the artists’ statements.



“QV was the original site of the Queen Victoria Hospital and the place of my birth so the obvious choice for me was to base the design around the word “MELBOURNE” and incorporate diagonal graphic elements to match the lines in the surrounding architecture.

“For a bit of fun I’ve included an optical circle for the letter “O” and positioned it so that the public can use it as a backdrop for the perfect photo opportunity.”



“Considering the pedestrian-heavy nature of the wall’s location, I wanted to weave a loose way-finding concept into the mural. The two faces I plan to paint will act as directional guides and portray the contrast/duality of Melbourne’s city lifestyle. With the far left face looking out towards Russell street, I hoped to guide foot traffic out with a strong/confident attitude that is prepared for the hustle and bustle of the world. In contrast, people walking into QV will be welcomed by a more relaxed/contemplative composure which speaks to the feeling of escapism in QV Melbourne. All in all, I wanted to transform the grey-washed laneway into something more vibrant and energetic by fusing the dynamism of bold paint gestures with scale, delicate detail and colour harmony.”

Loretta Lizzio

d37e9f0e-2a86-445a-9bd8-c9b47b6850cc“A wall of flora and fauna using warm colours that evoke lush, rich excitement and awe on large scale. Full of effective details that makes the image look like it moves. I would use shimmering golds, yellow hues, and a deep masala to create this work.”

Pete Cto


“This work is a fun, imaginative and creative representation on an evening of Melbourne dining. The work started as a photography shoot using coloured lights and through the translation process, different elements were introduced. The fish coming out of the stem of glass and splashing into the water, accompanied by an expression of laughter and happiness provokes the viewer to empathize with her joy.

“The rainbow feeding into the glass aids the imaginative and creative aspects, creating a narrative within the piece. The black and white pattern juxtaposes the intense vibrancy of colour and tone whilst adding a contemporary element.

“An important factor of interactivity is the aerosol can on the far left which has been placed to give viewers and passers-by an incentive to photograph themselves or another person into the piece of art. If chosen, I would consider fixing a real aerosol can to the aork for the viewer to take a photo yielding.”

The winning artist will receive $5000 as well as all the art materials necessary to complete the work on the selected 15-metre wide wall.

You can vote for your choice here.

Voting finishes on Friday, September 30.

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