Northern Territory Government Newsroom

Changing the face of Darwin CBD– Walls that Talk

To breathe life into the Darwin CBD, eight large-scale pieces of amazing street art will be painted permanently on prominent city buildings this month.

It's part of the Territory Labor Government’s $100M plan to transform and revitalise the Darwin CBD, to create jobs, retail opportunities and increased visitation. The investment includes the overhaul of State Square, the building of a new Museum of the NT and the relocation of CDU students into the city centre.

Tourism and Culture Minister, Lauren Moss today announced the first of its kind program – Darwin Street Art Festival Walls that Talk - will see leading Australian artists pair with local artists to paint eight Darwin CBD buildings and walls, injecting immediate vibrancy into the city.

The Street Art Festival is one of the ways, along with the Live Darwin Arts Grants program, government is working to provide short-term and immediate solutions to revitalising the CBD.

“This project will create a whole new funky feel to the Darwin CBD – it will give it new life and much needed energy,” Ms Moss said.

“Street Art has been proven to draw foot traffic into towns all over the world – which is great for Darwin CBD businesses - and Melbourne's Hosier Lane is famous for being one of Australia's most instagrammable destinations.

“Our local street art project is a great example of collaboration between artists, private sector, City of Darwin and Territory Government with a goal to transform the Darwin CBD into a world-class tourist and cultural destination.

“This is a great opportunity for locals to work with some of Australia’s leading artists including Makatron, DVATE, George Rose, PHIBS and AEON and collaborate on creative designs with a unique Territorian perspective. I encourage everyone to come into the city from 19-29 October and watch the artwork unfold across Darwin city buildings and walls, including the Hilton Hotel, Anthony Plaza, Monsoons and the Air Raid Arcade.

The Festival concept was developed by David Collins from the Mayfair Gallery and Mel Brautigam from Savvy Social and reflects the growing interest in street art.  In April this year, Lonely Planet published Street Art – a guide to discovering the world's best urban art.

David Collins, artist, curator and youth worker, understands how art can bring people together and enable change. 

“It’s also been my dream to paint larger than life murals in the Territory,” he said.

Ms Brautigam has a real passion to see our City Centre revitalised and has said that street art has the amazing ability to transform the way people interact with, and in public spaces.

“Selecting the appropriate buildings for such a scaled operation takes a great deal of planning and we are absolutely thrilled that each and every building owner has come on board, allowing us to bring their walls to life! It's been great to see how excited they are about being a part of this project too,” she said.

Held over 10 days, Darwin Street Art Festival provides opportunities for local street artists to work with national artists and collaborate on creative designs with a unique Territorian perspective.

Local artists interested in being involved should visit the website and submit their expression of interest, along with three examples of their work by midday, Monday 9 October 2017.

Further information about the Darwin Street Art Festival – Walls that Talk is available through the website, including the location of the buildings.

Attachment: National Artist Biographies

 Media Contact: Trish Grimshaw – 0401 119 242

Artist Biographies