Anthony Lister Street Art Tour in Sydney, Australia
Most well known for his street art, Anthony Lister, the Australian modern impressionist artist’s work can be enjoyed by anyone willing to take a drive around the city of Sydney. The democratization of street art is great for those fortunate enough to reside in or be able to travel to far off cities, but obviously art on the side of a building won’t be traveling to a city near you, so we’ve gone photographed some of our favorite Lister pieces for you to enjoy where ever you are. And what would art be without a little interpretation, so along with each location’s photos are our local photographer’s personal take on what Lister is trying to say with the piece.
Redfern is an area that has a strong and wonderful Indigenous community. Over the past few years Redfern has been through a rapid gentrification and a lot of the Aboriginal community that were happily living in Redfern were pushed out by development and unjust government decisions. This piece with the skeleton wearing ceremonial looking cloth and holding a flaming spear make me see the character as a freedom fighter to the plight of the Indigenous in the area and shows Lister’s support for them.
Once again in Redfern and another strong indigenous character defending and honouring the Aboriginal community. Just behind this piece is “The Block” an area in Redfern that housed many Aboriginal families up until recently as it was knocked down for redevelopment. There was also a well known boxing gym for Indigenous youths which makes me think that is the reference to the boxing gloves and the defending vibe. I like to think this piece gives the community strength from within. Lister is so unreal to show his support so strongly and loudly.
Alexandria is a fairly industrial area, in the last few years there’s been a few cool cafes and stores pop up but in general it’s pretty boring and business. This super large scale, beautifully graceful and colorful ballerina Lister painted on a massive carpark wall is an incredibly generous update to a blandness on the main street. A perfect example of his work as he has mentioned he sees it as not vandalism but beautifying the world.
Bondi Icebergs Pool
The Bondi Icebergs pool is a serious swim spot all year round, looking over the whole of Sydney’s (or actually Australia’s) most iconic beach with a perfect Instagram-ready backdrop as you can imagine it’s a selfie set up from hell. Opposite the entrance to the pool is a group of rollup garage doors that Lister has beautified. I like to think these characters get too enjoy looking over this view all day. Bondi can be kind of glamorous and very white linen and coconut water, so I love seeing Lister grime it up.
Bondi North Rocks
This is an awesome jump off the rock swim spot at the North end of Bondi Beach. It’s a well known – bring a beer and have a chat with all the mates – spot. Lister’s green babe with pesky seagulls languidly lays on the rocks catching the rays all day and I’m sure listens in on the local gossip.
Paddington Oxford Street
This end of Oxford Street (one of Sydney’s most notorious party streets) was just a few years back one of the main shopping zones in Sydney where independent fashion stores, book shops, art galleries and record stores were perused with a coffee in hand. Now a shell of its former self, most storefronts have “for lease” signs, but no one has any belief they will ever be occupied again. The rise of the super mall has taken over and cool areas like this can’t compete. Lister’s faces pepper the closed doors and brighten a once thriving street.
The party hub that once was, and still sometimes is. But just like the Paddington end of Oxford Street, has quietened down due to more unfortunately conservative and stuffy government decisions. Enforced early bar closing times in the city’s most cranking party zones has left the streets kinda quiet. Lister’s faces on closed doors here definitely throw color back where it once was and defiantly should be!