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Bondi’s Beachfront Art Gallery

Nov 11, 2015  ·  3 min read

By Niall Roeder…

Although some traditionalists are still coming to accept street art, it seems to me that the majority believes it damn well enriches an area. Whichever side of the spray painted fence you sit, you can’t deny it takes incredible skill to create a piece of art with shading, depth and vibrancy, with an expansive wall as your canvas and airy spray paint as your brush. That’s hard my friend. Very hard.

Street art is something arguably missing from coastal suburbs, but has always been a part of Bondi’s youthful identity, with many major street artists (and artists in general) earning a crust and living in the trendy suburb.

The iconic Bondi Sea Wall and is an ever-evolving council-authorised graffiti site where artists are invited to display their craft in front of Australia’s most famous stretch of sand… no pressure.

It’s easy to get lost within the murals. You’ll find a mix of everything on this al fresco artwork – collages blending stencil, pop art, and surrealism with Aladdin, Arnold Schwarzenegger and animals – optical illusions and symmetrical mandalas merging into love notes, political messages and shout outs. This is an ever-changing, wall-bound melting pot of genre and subject matter. Be sure to bring your camera, your favourite mural might be gone tomorrow.

Although the art on the sea wall is constantly changing, there are two murals that are there for good, and both for good reason. “The Girl With A Frangipani In Her Hair” and the Anzac mural were endorsed by the council for long-term preservation in 2009.

The Girl With A Frangipani In Her Hair

This is a memorial mural dedicated to one of the 200+ victims of the bomb attack at the Sari Club, Kuta Beach Bali, on October 12, 2002. The girl with the frangipani in her hair was Bondi local, 15 year old Chloe Byron, on holiday in Bali with her family. She grew up on the beach at Bondi and was widely known as an active sportswomen and keen surfer.

Since Droogie and other local aerosol artists painted the mural in 2003, it has become a beloved part of the Bondi landscape. It depicts a portrait of Chloe, a view of Bondi Beach, a longboard and frangipani flowers, and reflects on the active beach culture that was such an important part of Chloe’s life, as it is to lot of Bondi residents.

Anzac Mural

Around the time “The Girl with the Frangipani in her Hair” was being painted, Droogie was also working on an ANZAC mural to commemorate the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps soldiers who served in World War I. The mural was painted using a picture given to the artist by an old Bondi Digger.

Follow Bondi Beach Graffiti Wall on Facebook and Instagram.

Artists who wish to contribute can apply here.

Header image: Anya Brock

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