More than once I have been told that when I came to Western Australia I had to check out the Bunbury street art. I have now had a chance to do just that, and here’s all the information so you can do the same.
A Little About Bunbury, Western Australia
Bunbury is a city in Western Australia known for its beautiful beaches and rich history. Situated along the Indian Ocean, visitors can enjoy the sandy shores and take part in various water activities. The city centre offers a variety of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options.
Bunbury also has historic buildings and landmarks that reflect its past. With its welcoming atmosphere and a mix of modern amenities, natural beauty, and a vibrant community, Bunbury is a popular destination for residents and tourists alike.
Located just two hours south of Perth, Bunbury is an easy weekend away for locals or an essential stop on a southwest WA road trip like we are doing.
We had a few days in Margaret River for wine tasting (only 90 minutes away) before coming to Bunbury, but with many of the cellar doors closer than that, it would be an easy day trip to taste some of the wines.
The other drawcard for me, when we looked at Bunbury, was the Dolphin Discovery Centre, where, amongst other things, it is possible to stand in the shallows and have dolphins come to say hello.
Generally, they only come in from October to April, so while we saw them swimming in the bay, during our visit in May they did not come to the beach.
The Bunbury Street Art Story
The street art movement in Bunbury began in 2013 when Andrew Fraser returned to his home town after living overseas. He had been inspired by large scale murals while he was away and decided to give it a go in Bunbury.
He started with ReDiscover in 2014, a walking urban art trail put together by the SIx Two Three Zero art collective Andrew also started. There were five murals done that first year, including one by Andrew himself. Other artists were Stormie Mills, Anya Brock, Kyle Hughes-Odgers and Tim Howe.
The plan was to bring life back to the Bunbury CBD and put it on the tourist map. It was hoped that it would entice visitors to stay in Bunbury istead of driving on to other locations, and the increase foot traffic in the city centre. Of course the murals would brighten up the city, and hopefully put a smile on the faces of those who see them.
Over the years more murals have been added, and sadly some have disappeared, but it seems as though they have down their job.
Finding the Bunbury Street Art
Sometimes it can be really hard to find street art in a city. It’s often tucked down alleyways, behind buildings, in car parks and many other out-of-the-way places. Sometimes I’ve relied on blog posts, word of mouth, or often just walking and looking down the laneways – like in Hobart – but in Bunbury that is not required.
The lovely people at Visit Bunbury Geographe have a fantastic map available to show where all the street art is. You can pick one up at the Bunbury Visitors Centre or at the Dolphin Discovery Centre, or if you prefer, you can download it in advance from their website.
The map shows over 40 murals (some locations have a selection of murals) across the CBD, or central business district, and is officially called the Bunbury CBD Mural Trail. You will need about two hours to explore it fully.
As you travel further afield in the city though, you will find many more murals decorating the sides of buildings, edges of playgrounds and the surrounds of sporting clubs. So while the trail is a good starting point, keep searching!
With a range of artists having painted walls here in Bunbury, I just want to share a few of the murals – and leave the rest for you to discover when you visit. These ones are my personal favourites.
“Green Thumb” by Tim Howe
Tim Howe, a talented street artist, created one of the first murals in Bunbury with his artwork called “Green Thumb.” “Green Thumb” showcases a towering tree with intricate foliage, painted in vibrant shades of green.
The mural symbolises the connection between nature and the built environment. Through this artwork, Howe encourages residents and visitors to appreciate and care for the natural world. “Green Thumb” has helped promote a greener and more environmentally conscious community in Bunbury.
“Mr Brainwash” by Stormie Mills
Stormie Mills was another of the original artists to put up those first murals in Bunbury – but it wasn’t this one he did then. “Mr Brainwash” was painted the following year when he returned to the streets in 2015. Look out for his other works while you are exploring too.
Stormie Mills has a distinctive style that is easy to recognise. He has painted murals all over the world, but mostly likes to focus on Australia, where you can see other works all over. I first came across him in Hobart, but he also has murals in Perth, Sydney, Melbourne and many other places too.
His art seamlessly blends elements of urban landscapes with emotive and thought-provoking imagery. Each piece carries a distinct narrative, often depicting enigmatic characters immersed in a world of shadows and solitude. Mills’ use of monochromatic tones adds a layer of depth and introspection to his work, evoking a sense of mystery and contemplation.
“Sarah and Teresa” by Rone
Rone has recently made a huge impact with his exhibition of street art inside the rundown sections of the Flinders Street Station in Melbourne, but before that, he was decorating the walls of Bunbury with this portrait of Sarah and Teresa in 2016.
His murals feature striking portraits of women that evoke strong emotions. With careful attention to detail and soft, dreamlike colors, Rone creates a sense of mystery and beauty. His art invites viewers to reflect on the complexities of human emotions and vulnerabilities.
Rone is one of those artists who always amazes me with how simple yet how appealing his murals are. I am always blown away by his talent.
ReDiscover Jam Wall
I’m not exactly sure who the artist is of this mural, but it can be found as part of a long wall in an alleyway filled with various street art.
This area is basically some space for the artists to “jam”. The murals are smaller and in some cases blended together. You will find about ten different murals in this area off Wellington Street.
Historical Mural by Jerome Davenport (Ketones6000)
This mural takes up two sides of this building right in the centre of Bunbury. It was done by Jerome Davenport, who goes by the artist name of Ketones6000, in 2019 and is commemorating the timber and port history of the local area.
The mural was commissioned by locals who are descendants of one of the key pioneers of the timber industry around Bunbury back in the day.
Ketones6000 has created murals all over his home state of Western Australia as well as further afield. We spotted his work in the nearby town of Collie just days after we saw this.
“The Storm” by Fintan Magee
Fintan Magee is a well-known Brisbane artist with murals all over Australia. He came to Bunbury in 2015 to add his mural to the growing collection in town.
This is “The Storm” and it takes up a huge space at the rear of the cinemas. It is one of a series of murals painted by Magee to highlight the housing crisis in the USA at the time and his own personal experiences with natural disasters (like the flooding in Brisbane)
Magee’s murals often feature larger-than-life figures, rich in detail and depth, that convey a sense of realism and vulnerability. His ability to convey powerful messages through his art has garnered widespread recognition and praise.
Portrait of a Man by Claire Foxton
Claire Foxton first came to my attention with a mural in Port Adelaide as part of the Wonderwalls Festival in 2017, but just months earlier, she painted this portrait in Bunbury.
This does not seem to have been painted as part of the ReDiscover project and as such, information on it is sparse. I always enjoy Claire’s work.
Bunbury Regional Gallery by Bradley Eastman (Beastman)
Best known as Beastman, Bradley Eastman has created at least two murals around Bunbury. This one was done in 2015 and can be found on the back of the Bunbury Regional Gallery.
With a distinct style that blends organic and geometric elements, Beastman’s murals captivate viewers with their bold colours and intricate patterns. His work often draws inspiration from nature, depicting fantastical creatures and landscapes that evoke a sense of wonder and awe. His art carries a spiritual and primal quality, inviting viewers to connect with their surroundings.
Out of the Box
While you are walking around the city looking for all the murals, keep an eye out for smaller versions of street art too. Around twenty electrical boxes have also been painted, mostly with furry creatures.
My favourites are those done by Hayley Welsh, which show cute little monsters like this in all sorts of poses. She does have one large mural in town too – but I will let you discover that for yourself.
After enjoying the Bunbury street art, are you travelling further in Western Australia?
These posts might help you
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