Brunswick Street Sketchography

Nearly every day for the last thirty years I have jumped on the number 11 tram to travel down Brunswick Street, Fitzroy. I have wandered along the shops, eaten kebabs, and enjoyed cappucinos and eggs benedict in the cafes. But it took a trip overseas for me to come home and truly “see” Brunswick Street. Now I notice the shapes of the rooftops, the ghost signs, the towers and the cast iron lace. I can’t believe all this beauty has been here in front of me for so long and that I have simply taken it for granted.

No longer. I have challenged myself to a very long term project of drawing the buildings along Brunswick Street. As a librarian I also want to research the history of the area so that I can learn more about the people who lived here in times past. I want to learn more about this local community of mine, and discover how I fit in. It’s going to take a very long time – years in fact – so that in itself will be a lesson in patience and mindfulness for me. If you would like to follow along with me you can keep an eye on this blog, or follow me on instagram.

Acknowledgement of country

Before going any further, I would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land around Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, the Wurundjeri people, and to pay my respects to their ancestors and elders both past and present.

My drawings highlight a fairly recent urban history, only since the 1850s, and I’ll be getting my stories from passers by, vintage photos and old newspapers. The indigenous history of the area is much better described by people other than myself, and you can read more about it here –  https://aboriginalhistoryofyarra.com.au/ and https://www.wurundjeri.com.au/

The first six months

If that short video grabs your interest and you want to learn more, you can watch the long version here.

Posts from my blog

Brunswick Street, Fitzroy – six months of urban sketches and streetscapes

Almost every Tuesday for the last six months, since January 2019, I have been catching a tram down Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, to draw beautiful Victorian buildings on location. It started as a personal passion project to draw the street, and I have to say that I...

Instagram – #brunswickstreetsketchography 

Another section of my #brunswickstreetsketchograph Another section of my #brunswickstreetsketchography finished today in North Fitzroy. I dashed back in for a couple of hours and heard lots of stories about the area from passers by. I think my favourite was hearing about the witches' coven in the terrace buildings, but I was also told about Fitzroy sitting on (or rather in) mud flats, and about the wonderful workmanship that went into these buildings back in the early 1900s. #urbansketchers #melbourneurbansketchers #usk #northfitzroy #brunswickstreet #streetscape #bockingford #twsbieco #deatramentisink #penandink #archisketch #architecturesketch

Another section of my #brunswickstreetsketchography finished today in North Fitzroy. I dashed back in for a couple of hours and heard lots of stories about the area from passers by. I think my favourite was hearing about the witches' coven in the terrace buildings, but I was also told about Fitzroy sitting on (or rather in) mud flats, and about the wonderful workmanship that went into these buildings back in the early 1900s. #urbansketchers #melbourneurbansketchers #usk #northfitzroy #brunswickstreet #streetscape #bockingford #twsbieco #deatramentisink #penandink #archisketch #architecturesketch ...

143 16
My weekly addition to my #brunswickstreetsketchogr My weekly addition to my #brunswickstreetsketchography as I gradually move north. I have a lot of painting to catch up with before my exhibition at the Fitzroy Library later in the year, if coronavirus allows. #brunswickstreet #northfitzroy #cityofyarra #sketch #urbansketchers #melbourneurbansketchers #usk #pensketch #penandink #bockingford

My weekly addition to my #brunswickstreetsketchography as I gradually move north. I have a lot of painting to catch up with before my exhibition at the Fitzroy Library later in the year, if coronavirus allows. #brunswickstreet #northfitzroy #cityofyarra #sketch #urbansketchers #melbourneurbansketchers #usk #pensketch #penandink #bockingford ...

117 2
It was a super cold Melbourne morning today so my It was a super cold Melbourne morning today so my sketching outfit could almost have covered a trip to the snow. Yes, I know 'cold' is relative after living in Canada many years ago - but our heating at home has died, and it is actually warmer outside in the wind! Anyway, I do love signposts and lampposts so here is today's collection ... #brunswickstreetsketchography #brunswickstreet #northfitzroy #watercoloursketch #urbansketchers #melbourneurbansketchers #usk #lordnewryhotel #melbournepub #accordionsketchbook #sketchbook #streetscape #panorama

It was a super cold Melbourne morning today so my sketching outfit could almost have covered a trip to the snow. Yes, I know 'cold' is relative after living in Canada many years ago - but our heating at home has died, and it is actually warmer outside in the wind! Anyway, I do love signposts and lampposts so here is today's collection ... #brunswickstreetsketchography #brunswickstreet #northfitzroy #watercoloursketch #urbansketchers #melbourneurbansketchers #usk #lordnewryhotel #melbournepub #accordionsketchbook #sketchbook #streetscape #panorama ...

78 2
A quick lunch with Di today and back to a freezing A quick lunch with Di today and back to a freezing cold corner opposite @thelordnewryhotel in Fitzroy North. A local dog kept joyfully dropping balls and sticks at our feet, living in hope. I was strong but Di couldn't resist. We both had long strips of folded #bockingford paper to capture a wide view, but this is just one section. #brunswickstreetsketchography #brunswickstreet #northfitzroy #watercoloursketch #urbansketchers #melbourneurbansketchers #usk #lordnewryhotel #melbournepub

A quick lunch with Di today and back to a freezing cold corner opposite @thelordnewryhotel in Fitzroy North. A local dog kept joyfully dropping balls and sticks at our feet, living in hope. I was strong but Di couldn't resist. We both had long strips of folded #bockingford paper to capture a wide view, but this is just one section. #brunswickstreetsketchography #brunswickstreet #northfitzroy #watercoloursketch #urbansketchers #melbourneurbansketchers #usk #lordnewryhotel #melbournepub ...

170 7
Sketching my way north along Brunswick Street one Sketching my way north along Brunswick Street one building at a time. Today began with a cute little cottage during an unexpectedly clear winter's morning. #brunswickstreetsketchography #brunswickstreet #archisketch #urbansketchers #melbourneurbansketchers #bockingford #streetscape #architecturesketch #victorianarchitecture

Sketching my way north along Brunswick Street one building at a time. Today began with a cute little cottage during an unexpectedly clear winter's morning. #brunswickstreetsketchography #brunswickstreet #archisketch #urbansketchers #melbourneurbansketchers #bockingford #streetscape #architecturesketch #victorianarchitecture ...

338 16
I thought I'd finished this little section of Brun I thought I'd finished this little section of Brunswick Street, North Fitzroy, but then realised there was one more building to add before a small gap. I quickly dropped by yesterday after dropping Beth at work, and admittedly it now feels 'right' #brunswickstreetsketchography #brunswickstreet #fitzroynorth #cityofyarra #archisketch #architecturesketch #urbansketchers #melbourneurbansketchers #usk #bockingford #twsbieco #deatramentisink #sketch

I thought I'd finished this little section of Brunswick Street, North Fitzroy, but then realised there was one more building to add before a small gap. I quickly dropped by yesterday after dropping Beth at work, and admittedly it now feels 'right' #brunswickstreetsketchography #brunswickstreet #fitzroynorth #cityofyarra #archisketch #architecturesketch #urbansketchers #melbourneurbansketchers #usk #bockingford #twsbieco #deatramentisink #sketch ...

118 18

Brunswick Street prints

2 Comments

  1. Dennis Toth

    I like your sketches

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *