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

Instagram – #brunswickstreetsketchography 

Tuesday sketching in Brunswick Street, Fitzroy where it was coooold! Well cold enough for a pampered Aussie anyway! I had to do a little hoicking up (yes, made up phrase) of these buildings as they are running downhill. So the rooflines aren't quite so accurate but at least the buildings didn't run off the bottom of my paper. Sila Espresso Bar stars - but so many bricks to draw. Then @bonapfitzroy where @auntyfrank and I hid out of the wind for lunch. Yummm pumpkin soup and fresh pieces of baguette as we looked out the windows at passers by braving the elements. The staff took a video of my very long (and still growing) streetscape. One more building to go before the next corner. Moving along!! #brunswickstreetsketchography #melbourneurbansketchers #brunswickstreet #fitzroy #brunswickstreetfitzroy #cafesketch #urbansketchers #usk #streetscape #victorianarchitecture #archisketch #bockingford #melbourne #sketch #cityofyarra

Tuesday sketching in Brunswick Street, Fitzroy where it was coooold! Well cold enough for a pampered Aussie anyway! I had to do a little hoicking up (yes, made up phrase) of these buildings as they are running downhill. So the rooflines aren't quite so accurate but at least the buildings didn't run off the bottom of my paper. Sila Espresso Bar stars - but so many bricks to draw. Then @bonapfitzroy where @auntyfrank and I hid out of the wind for lunch. Yummm pumpkin soup and fresh pieces of baguette as we looked out the windows at passers by braving the elements. The staff took a video of my very long (and still growing) streetscape. One more building to go before the next corner. Moving along!! #brunswickstreetsketchography #melbourneurbansketchers #brunswickstreet #fitzroy #brunswickstreetfitzroy #cafesketch #urbansketchers #usk #streetscape #victorianarchitecture #archisketch #bockingford #melbourne #sketch #cityofyarra ...

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Surely this building has eyelids? Last Tuesday's sketch in Brunswick Street, Fitzroy.  I still need to paint it of course and it's calling out for a bright yellow and lots of orangey brickey goodness.  #melbourneurbansketchers #brunswickstreetsketchography #brunswickstreet #fitzroy #brunswickstreetfitzroy #cityofyarra #urbansketching #urbansketchers #usk #bockingfird

Surely this building has eyelids? Last Tuesday's sketch in Brunswick Street, Fitzroy. I still need to paint it of course and it's calling out for a bright yellow and lots of orangey brickey goodness. #melbourneurbansketchers #brunswickstreetsketchography #brunswickstreet #fitzroy #brunswickstreetfitzroy #cityofyarra #urbansketching #urbansketchers #usk #bockingfird ...

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Doughnut Time sign in Brunswick Street, Fitzroy proudly bearing two doughnuts. During Melbourne's second wave of covid last  year, when we locked down for 4 months, we desperately looked forward to a Doughnut Day' - zero deaths due to covid in Victoria. Then 'Double Doughnut Day' arrived - zero new locally acquired cases as well as zero deaths. Doughnut shops were sold out as we celebrated and started to emerge from isolation. Yesterday (and today) were Triple Doughnut Days with no imported cases in quarantine either, from nearly 14,000 tests. Sadly this shop is long closed and shuttered but it is still surely a sign of the times - possibly in more ways than one. Thanks to @pr_designthinkingdrawings for joining us all the way from Brisbane and @lunchsketch !  @doughnut_time #brunswickstreetsketchography #melbourneurbansketchers #urbansketchers #urbansketchersaustralia #usk #fitzroy #cityofyarra #doughnutday #doubleddoughnutday #doubledonutday #melbourne #brunswickstreet #brunswickstreetfitzroy #bockingford

Doughnut Time sign in Brunswick Street, Fitzroy proudly bearing two doughnuts. During Melbourne's second wave of covid last year, when we locked down for 4 months, we desperately looked forward to a Doughnut Day' - zero deaths due to covid in Victoria. Then 'Double Doughnut Day' arrived - zero new locally acquired cases as well as zero deaths. Doughnut shops were sold out as we celebrated and started to emerge from isolation. Yesterday (and today) were Triple Doughnut Days with no imported cases in quarantine either, from nearly 14,000 tests. Sadly this shop is long closed and shuttered but it is still surely a sign of the times - possibly in more ways than one. Thanks to @pr_designthinkingdrawings for joining us all the way from Brisbane and @lunchsketch ! @doughnut_time #brunswickstreetsketchography #melbourneurbansketchers #urbansketchers #urbansketchersaustralia #usk #fitzroy #cityofyarra #doughnutday #doubleddoughnutday #doubledonutday #melbourne #brunswickstreet #brunswickstreetfitzroy #bockingford ...

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The view from Hecho en Mexico in Brunswick Street, Fitzroy over lunch with @lunchsketch and @pr_designthinkingdrawings who is visiting from Brisbane. I've always loved this pair of blue buildings, including the big plate of @chinabarcarousel and the interesting  golden windows of @afghangallery_restaurant  #brunswickstreetsketchography #melbourneurbansketchers #brunswickstreet #brunswickstreetfitzroy #cityofyarra #bockingford #urbansketchers #usk

The view from Hecho en Mexico in Brunswick Street, Fitzroy over lunch with @lunchsketch and @pr_designthinkingdrawings who is visiting from Brisbane. I've always loved this pair of blue buildings, including the big plate of @chinabarcarousel and the interesting golden windows of @afghangallery_restaurant #brunswickstreetsketchography #melbourneurbansketchers #brunswickstreet #brunswickstreetfitzroy #cityofyarra #bockingford #urbansketchers #usk ...

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Brunswick Street prints

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2 Comments

  1. Dennis Toth

    I like your sketches

    Reply

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