Drawing Brunswick Street, Fitzroy

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 

Due to Melbourne's covid restrictions my exhibition at the iconic Black Cat has been postponed for another couple of weeks. By 4pm on Sunday 4 July there will hopefully be capacity to celebrate with friends so please, once again, adjust it in your diaries and calendars! I'm so grateful to the team @blackcatfitzroy for their hospitality and I hope to be enjoying a glass of bubbly or two there soon! #helendrawsbrunswickstreet #artexhibition #blackcatfitzroy #brunswickstreetsketchography #cityofyarra #exhibition #signedprints #fitzroy

Due to Melbourne's covid restrictions my exhibition at the iconic Black Cat has been postponed for another couple of weeks. By 4pm on Sunday 4 July there will hopefully be capacity to celebrate with friends so please, once again, adjust it in your diaries and calendars! I'm so grateful to the team @blackcatfitzroy for their hospitality and I hope to be enjoying a glass of bubbly or two there soon! #helendrawsbrunswickstreet #artexhibition #blackcatfitzroy #brunswickstreetsketchography #cityofyarra #exhibition #signedprints #fitzroy ...

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How long was your hair after Melbourne's infamous Lockdown 2.0? Hopefully Lockdown 4.0 will lift, at least to the point of getting haircuts, from midnight tonight. Fingers crossed! Drawn on location as the winter wind blew ferociously down Brunswick Street, North Fitzroy a year ago. Painted, finally, yesterday. #helendrawsbrunswickstreet #brunswickstreetsketchography #brunswickstreetsketchers #brunswickstreet #fitzroymelbourne #victorianterrace #archisketch #bockingford #watercolour #cityofyarra #fitzroy #streetscape #melbourne #victorianarchitecture #streetscape #melbournearchitecture #architecturesketch #streetsketch

How long was your hair after Melbourne's infamous Lockdown 2.0? Hopefully Lockdown 4.0 will lift, at least to the point of getting haircuts, from midnight tonight. Fingers crossed! Drawn on location as the winter wind blew ferociously down Brunswick Street, North Fitzroy a year ago. Painted, finally, yesterday. #helendrawsbrunswickstreet #brunswickstreetsketchography #brunswickstreetsketchers #brunswickstreet #fitzroymelbourne #victorianterrace #archisketch #bockingford #watercolour #cityofyarra #fitzroy #streetscape #melbourne #victorianarchitecture #streetscape #melbournearchitecture #architecturesketch #streetsketch ...

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That Burger Joint in Brunswick Street, North Fitzroy. I drew it on location a year ago and painted it today. I wonder if they still have the fake grass doorstep?  #helendrawsbrunswickstreet #brunswickstreetsketchography #brunswickstreetsketchers #brunswickstreet #fitzroymelbourne #victorianterrace #archisketch #bockingford #watercolour #cityofyarra #fitzroy #streetscape #melbourne #victorianarchitecture #streetscape #melbournearchitecture #architecturesketch #streetsketch

That Burger Joint in Brunswick Street, North Fitzroy. I drew it on location a year ago and painted it today. I wonder if they still have the fake grass doorstep? #helendrawsbrunswickstreet #brunswickstreetsketchography #brunswickstreetsketchers #brunswickstreet #fitzroymelbourne #victorianterrace #archisketch #bockingford #watercolour #cityofyarra #fitzroy #streetscape #melbourne #victorianarchitecture #streetscape #melbournearchitecture #architecturesketch #streetsketch ...

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It has taken me three days to paint this streetscape originally drawn on location over a month in 2020 and finished today in my studio. Starting with Scooterama and finishing at Clara Fox Vintage with a bushel of terraces in between. Brunswick Street, North Fitzroy. I'm going to make it into a print which, if Covid allows, will be part of my exhibition at the Black Cat from 20 June 2021.  #helendrawsbrunswickstreet #brunswickstreetsketchography #brunswickstreetsketchers #brunswickstreet #fitzroymelbourne #victorianterrace #archisketch #bockingford #watercolour #cityofyarra #fitzroy #streetscape #melbourne #victorianarchitecture #streetscape #melbournearchitecture #architecturesketch #streetsketch

It has taken me three days to paint this streetscape originally drawn on location over a month in 2020 and finished today in my studio. Starting with Scooterama and finishing at Clara Fox Vintage with a bushel of terraces in between. Brunswick Street, North Fitzroy. I'm going to make it into a print which, if Covid allows, will be part of my exhibition at the Black Cat from 20 June 2021. #helendrawsbrunswickstreet #brunswickstreetsketchography #brunswickstreetsketchers #brunswickstreet #fitzroymelbourne #victorianterrace #archisketch #bockingford #watercolour #cityofyarra #fitzroy #streetscape #melbourne #victorianarchitecture #streetscape #melbournearchitecture #architecturesketch #streetsketch ...

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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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