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Australia itself has a strong street art culture and has produced a number of innovative and now internationally recognised artists.

Coming up at the University Art Museum at the University of Queensland is an exciting exhibition fresh from the National Gallery of Australia. Defying the traditional divide between gallery and ‘other’ art, the UAM will present Space Invaders, an Australian street art retrospective.

Think of street art and the mind most likely jumps to international street artists Banksy, Blek le Rat, Shepard Fairey and Swoon, whose works embrace the stencilling technique so common among street artists of today. Lesser known is that Australia itself has a strong street art culture and has produced a number of innovative and now internationally recognised artists.

Whilst street art is certainly a slightly newer phenomenon in Australia as compared to the United Kingdom and the United States, Australian street art has grown out of a hip-hop graffiti culture that has been around since the 1980s. Artists utilise mediums such as stencilling, paste-ups, stickers and posters, often to challenge paradigmatic social norms and initiate social and political change. This is done either through overt methods (Meek’s Keep your coins, I want change) or through the strategic positioning of works in an urban environment.

Space Invaders will bring together 150 works from over 40 Australian street artists, including Reks, Anthony Lister, Adrian Doyle, Sync, and James Dodd.

Published on March 30, 2011 by Sophie Dixon

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