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 

More of my urban sketches from the top end of Brunswick Street, Fitzroy on display at the Fitzroy Library until 31 January. I was spotting signs of the times (literally) as Melbourne slowly emerged from lockdown, and rules were changing week by week. Only 2 weeks left for this exhibition! #brunswickstreetsketchography #usk #urbansketches #urbansketchers #melbourneurbansketchers #brunswickstreet #cityofyarra #fitzroy #brunswickstreetfitzroy #watercoloursketch #streetscapes #melbourne #evelynhotel #blacklivesmatter #markdenver #babkafitzroy

More of my urban sketches from the top end of Brunswick Street, Fitzroy on display at the Fitzroy Library until 31 January. I was spotting signs of the times (literally) as Melbourne slowly emerged from lockdown, and rules were changing week by week. Only 2 weeks left for this exhibition! #brunswickstreetsketchography #usk #urbansketches #urbansketchers #melbourneurbansketchers #brunswickstreet #cityofyarra #fitzroy #brunswickstreetfitzroy #watercoloursketch #streetscapes #melbourne #evelynhotel #blacklivesmatter #markdenver #babkafitzroy ...

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Some of my urban sketches from the top end of Brunswick Street, Fitzroy on display at the Fitzroy Library until 31 January. I drew these as Melbourne was gently emerging from lockdown, and rules were changing week by week. Remember the 5km limit and all the closed shops? Not long left for this exhibition!  #brunswickstreetsketchography #usk #urbansketches #urbansketchers #melbourneurbansketchers #brunswickstreet #cityofyarra #fitzroy #brunswickstreetfitzroy #watercoloursketch #streetscapes #melbourne

Some of my urban sketches from the top end of Brunswick Street, Fitzroy on display at the Fitzroy Library until 31 January. I drew these as Melbourne was gently emerging from lockdown, and rules were changing week by week. Remember the 5km limit and all the closed shops? Not long left for this exhibition! #brunswickstreetsketchography #usk #urbansketches #urbansketchers #melbourneurbansketchers #brunswickstreet #cityofyarra #fitzroy #brunswickstreetfitzroy #watercoloursketch #streetscapes #melbourne ...

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My top 9 of 2020, which sums up a bizarre year of lockdowns due to coronavirus. I drew the Princess Theatre shortly before it all began, not long after going to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. There are sketches of our home during lockdown, and a lot of revisiting old sketchbooks from our travels in previous years. Mont St Michel  was a virtual visit, after our trip to Europe was sadly cancelled. But right in the middle was one of my last Brunswick Street sketches that I finished painting at home as I prepared for my exhibition at the Fitzroy Library. The exhibition is still up until 31 January but the clock is ticking! #brunswickstreetsketchography #top9of2020 #top9 #urbansketchers #usk #sketchbooks #travelsketchbook #travelsketches #urbansketches #hahnemuhle #watercoloursketchbook

My top 9 of 2020, which sums up a bizarre year of lockdowns due to coronavirus. I drew the Princess Theatre shortly before it all began, not long after going to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. There are sketches of our home during lockdown, and a lot of revisiting old sketchbooks from our travels in previous years. Mont St Michel was a virtual visit, after our trip to Europe was sadly cancelled. But right in the middle was one of my last Brunswick Street sketches that I finished painting at home as I prepared for my exhibition at the Fitzroy Library. The exhibition is still up until 31 January but the clock is ticking! #brunswickstreetsketchography #top9of2020 #top9 #urbansketchers #usk #sketchbooks #travelsketchbook #travelsketches #urbansketches #hahnemuhle #watercoloursketchbook ...

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Crispy chicken vermicelli noodle salad with spring rolls and lemon iced tea for lunch at Madame Saigon Vietnamese restaurant today. Oh, and the obligatory sketch of Brunswick Street, Fitzroy of course! I completely mucked up my morning sketches when I didn't take the sloping ground into account but I felt a little more zen over food. #brunswickstreetsketchography #brunswickstreetfitzroy #brunswickstreet #melbourneurbansketchers #usk #urbansketchers #victorianarchitecture #archisketch #bockingford

Crispy chicken vermicelli noodle salad with spring rolls and lemon iced tea for lunch at Madame Saigon Vietnamese restaurant today. Oh, and the obligatory sketch of Brunswick Street, Fitzroy of course! I completely mucked up my morning sketches when I didn't take the sloping ground into account but I felt a little more zen over food. #brunswickstreetsketchography #brunswickstreetfitzroy #brunswickstreet #melbourneurbansketchers #usk #urbansketchers #victorianarchitecture #archisketch #bockingford ...

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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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