Dunedin has always had a reputation for inspiring artistic endeavours; you only have to look to its beautiful Victorian and Edwardian architecture to see evidence of the creative minds of past generations. Following in these creative footsteps Dunedin is now home to a new artistic movement; a world-class Street Art collection.
Driven by the dedicated Dunedin Street Art non-profit group of volunteers who fundraise to bring this fantastic commissioned street art to the city of Dunedin, the collection is continually growing with new additions popping up all over the city. Created by artists from New Zealand and around the world the artworks are designed to complement the cityscape and have cemented Dunedin’s growing status as a street art destination.
With over 30 pieces to view, enjoy exploring the Dunedin Street Art Trail by foot or by your vehicle of choice, as it weaves its way through Dunedin’s historic precinct’s and restored commercial areas. Some of the artworks can be seen from afar, but they all need to be seen up close to be fully appreciated, the detail and effort that has gone into these is awe-inspiring.
The Dunedin Street Art Trail is an excellent educational addition to school trips and family vacations, or even to add a bit of culture to your next business trip. Viewing all of the artworks is possible within a couple of hours if walking, or it can be achieved in a much shorter time-frame if traveling by car, making this an easy add-on to your days activities. Grab a copy of the map at the local iSite visitor centre or view a map online here. These are our top picks not to be missed.
Enjoy Chinese born artist DALeast’s Haast Eagle, which follows his unique style of constructing animals and people as if they had been made from shards of metal. DALeast is considered one of the most accomplished street artists of our time, along with being a sculptor, painter and digital artist.
Don’t miss British street artist Phlegm’s artworks, with several contributions to the art trail, his mythical artworks incorporate features of New Zealand’s history and native birdlife. Phlegm is a world renowned cartoonist and illustrator, he is a well-recognised street artist and his work has appeared on many objects such as airplanes, boats, buildings and vehicles.
ROA is a street artist from Belgium, with a preference for realistic animal or rodent murals. His work often reflects the country of origin’s native animals, in Dunedin’s case the Tuatara is his subject. With a true passion for painting, his distinctive black and white street style artwork can be found worldwide.
One of New Zealand’s most prolific street artists, Sean Duffell draws his inspiration from New Zealand’s very distinctive native flora and fauna. His artwork inspires and uplifts with its bold use of colour, he is one of the most recognisable street artists in New Zealand today.
One of the largest artworks along the trail, the aptly named “The Revenge of the Ocean #1” by Toothfish is ideally located down near the water front. Depicting a dark oceanic scene consisting of different species of fish, this New Zealand artist uses his art to raise awareness of environmental and political issues facing the world today.
Cheeky, playful and in a more realistic style, Polish artist Natalia Rak’s contribution titled “Love is in the Air” offers a more light hearted approach to the street art trail. Bold colours and a scene reminiscent of the simpler things in life are bound to bring a smile to passers-by.
Following in his usual decomposed robotic style, Italian artist Pixel Pancho brings Princess Street alive with his “complex interweaving of the human form, flora, and metal”. Titled “Riding Dreams” the dreamlike image portrays a mechanical style horse being ridden by a semi-robotic boy.
Using bold colour and an array of both New Zealand and American born animal forms, Mica Still has her own unique street art style. While born in the USA Mica Still is now based in Wellington New Zealand, her artwork reflects her background while exploring her “desires, fears and fantasies”.
The list of artists who have contributed goes on and on but includes Hyuro from Argentina, Bezt from Poland, Suki and Be Free from Australia, and New Zealand artists Andy McCready, Sam Ovens, John Thom and Devon Smith just to name a few.
As the Dunedin Art Trail leads you through some of the lesser known areas of the city it enables you to discover some ‘off the beaten track’ opportunities for shopping, eating and generally exploring the parts of the city you may not normally come across. See below for some galleries and information on heritage buildings you may encounter along the way.
For those wishing to seek out more of Dunedin’s artistic endeavours, there are a good sprinkling of art galleries dotted around the city centre. Some of the more notable galleries are:
The Dunedin City Council offers a great resource for those wishing to take in some of Dunedin’s famous heritage buildings as part of their artistic exploration of the city. Some of Dunedin’s buildings date back to the 1870s and 1880s, and feature as excellent examples of the early settlers Edwardian architecture.
These walks are part of the nation-wide ‘Kiwi Walk’ network, bronze plaques are set within the footpath to keep you on track as you make you way around the streets. Look for ‘Heritage Walk 1′ and ‘Heritage Walk 2’, arrows on the plaques will indicate the intended direction of travel. Plaques containing building details and origins are also located on many of the featured heritage buildings. There are two heritage walks to choose from, each taking approximately an hour to complete.
Walk One takes you through central Dunedin streets seeking out buildings that have been categorised by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust. Some of the buildings include Garrison Hall on Dowling street, the Imperial Building on the corner of Dowling Street and Queens Gardens and the iconic Dunedin Railway Station in Anzac Square.
Walk Two takes you through the northern streets of Dunedin, showcasing magnificently designed buildings like the Trinity Church on the corner of Stuart Street and Moray Place, St Joseph’s Cathedral on the corner of Smith and Rattray Streets and St Paul’s Cathedral near the Octagon.
This thought-provoking outdoor art gallery has created a sense of pride within the city of Dunedin, and is definitely an attraction not to be missed when visiting the area. For more information on the Dunedin Street Art Trail, Dunedin City art galleries or the Dunedin City Council Heritage Walks call in to the Dunedin i-Site Visitor Centre or see here for some of the best walks to try in and around Dunedin.
Need transportation to make the most of the area? View our full range of affordable Dunedin rental cars and explore the best of Dunedin at your own pace.
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