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 

Sketching the old Champion Hotel at the corner of Gertrude and Brunswick Streets, Fitzroy this morning before lunch at the Workers Club. @diannecolk was capturing some of the people crossing the road, including a woman walking her dog in matching bright yellow puffer jackets! A couple of guys in hi viz crossed several times, and people waiting for the lights stopped to check out the row of sketchers - @auntyfrank @diannecolk @pixelationstudios and Trish all focused on this iconic building. #helendrawsbrunswickstreet #brunswickstreetsketchography #usk #urbansketchers #melbourneurbansketchers #urbansketchersaustralia #brunswickstreet #brunswickstreetfitzroy #archisketch #architecturesketch #fitzroy #cityofyarra

Sketching the old Champion Hotel at the corner of Gertrude and Brunswick Streets, Fitzroy this morning before lunch at the Workers Club. @diannecolk was capturing some of the people crossing the road, including a woman walking her dog in matching bright yellow puffer jackets! A couple of guys in hi viz crossed several times, and people waiting for the lights stopped to check out the row of sketchers - @auntyfrank @diannecolk @pixelationstudios and Trish all focused on this iconic building. #helendrawsbrunswickstreet #brunswickstreetsketchography #usk #urbansketchers #melbourneurbansketchers #urbansketchersaustralia #brunswickstreet #brunswickstreetfitzroy #archisketch #architecturesketch #fitzroy #cityofyarra ...

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Signed prints of my Brunswick Street sketches on the walls of the iconic Black Cat, 252 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy. They'll be up until the 17th July 2021 and they open 2pm till late - just saying ... :). #helendrawsbrunswickstreet @blackcatfitzroy #brunswickstreetsketchography #exhibition #melbournearchitecture #archisketch #architecturesketch #artexhibition #fitzroy #cityofyarra #brunswickstreet #brunswickstreetfitzroy #watercolour #streetscape

Signed prints of my Brunswick Street sketches on the walls of the iconic Black Cat, 252 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy. They'll be up until the 17th July 2021 and they open 2pm till late - just saying ... :). #helendrawsbrunswickstreet @blackcatfitzroy #brunswickstreetsketchography #exhibition #melbournearchitecture #archisketch #architecturesketch #artexhibition #fitzroy #cityofyarra #brunswickstreet #brunswickstreetfitzroy #watercolour #streetscape ...

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Lunch at Elektra in Brunswick Street, Fitzroy today with the Tuesday sketching clan. I was soo cold outside so happy to clamp my frozen fingers around a nice warm cup of Himalayan Chai before getting stuck into my crushed avo. So good and highly entertaining conversation :) #helendrawsbrunswickstreet #brunswickstreetsketchography #melbournecafe #cafesketch #lunchsketch #fitzroy #brunswickstreet #bockingford #urbansketchers #usk #melbourneurbansketchers

Lunch at Elektra in Brunswick Street, Fitzroy today with the Tuesday sketching clan. I was soo cold outside so happy to clamp my frozen fingers around a nice warm cup of Himalayan Chai before getting stuck into my crushed avo. So good and highly entertaining conversation 🙂 #helendrawsbrunswickstreet #brunswickstreetsketchography #melbournecafe #cafesketch #lunchsketch #fitzroy #brunswickstreet #bockingford #urbansketchers #usk #melbourneurbansketchers ...

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I was sketching this stunning building in Brunswick Street, Fitzroy when a passer by pointed out the pigeons being fed on the roof. The next person to stop told me that all the grey ones were called Nigel. From there, Ros shared photo portraits about all the pigeons and their wonderful names - Thick Kevin, Ron and Thérèse, George III (and IV), Andy Stankovich, Speckled Jim, Priscilla and Elvis. If I hadn't been sitting there drawing on location I would never have known. You can read more of the story on my blog here - https://helenwildingart.com/sketching-pigeons-black-cat-brunswick-street/  Thank you Roslynne!! PS - the final prints will be on exhibit @blackcatfitzroy for two weeks from 4pm Sunday 4 July 2021 #helendrawsbrunswickstreet #brunswickstreetsketchography #pigeons #feedingpigeons #brunswickstreet #brunswickstreetfitzroy #cityofyarra #victorianarchitecture #archsketch #architecturesketch #melbournearchitecture #sketching #watercolour

I was sketching this stunning building in Brunswick Street, Fitzroy when a passer by pointed out the pigeons being fed on the roof. The next person to stop told me that all the grey ones were called Nigel. From there, Ros shared photo portraits about all the pigeons and their wonderful names - Thick Kevin, Ron and Thérèse, George III (and IV), Andy Stankovich, Speckled Jim, Priscilla and Elvis. If I hadn't been sitting there drawing on location I would never have known. You can read more of the story on my blog here - https://helenwildingart.com/sketching-pigeons-black-cat-brunswick-street/ Thank you Roslynne!! PS - the final prints will be on exhibit @blackcatfitzroy for two weeks from 4pm Sunday 4 July 2021 #helendrawsbrunswickstreet #brunswickstreetsketchography #pigeons #feedingpigeons #brunswickstreet #brunswickstreetfitzroy #cityofyarra #victorianarchitecture #archsketch #architecturesketch #melbournearchitecture #sketching #watercolour ...

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I'm super excited and feeling oh so fortunate! My husband Stephen has just painted our hallway and set up a gallery system for me! These are most (but not quite all) of the prints I'll be exhibiting at the Black Cat, 252 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy for two weeks from Sunday 4 July at 4pm. If you're in the neighbourhood I hope you drop by! #helendrawsbrunswickstreet #brunswickstreetsketchography #brunswickstreet #fitzroy #cityofyarra #brunswickstreetfitzroy #exhibition @blackcatfitzroy #artprints #architecturesketch #illustrations #archisketch #victorianarchitecture #melbournearchitecture

I'm super excited and feeling oh so fortunate! My husband Stephen has just painted our hallway and set up a gallery system for me! These are most (but not quite all) of the prints I'll be exhibiting at the Black Cat, 252 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy for two weeks from Sunday 4 July at 4pm. If you're in the neighbourhood I hope you drop by! #helendrawsbrunswickstreet #brunswickstreetsketchography #brunswickstreet #fitzroy #cityofyarra #brunswickstreetfitzroy #exhibition @blackcatfitzroy #artprints #architecturesketch #illustrations #archisketch #victorianarchitecture #melbournearchitecture ...

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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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