Presented by Zombie Queen Art & Consulting and Adelaide Fringe
Reviewed 24 February 2018
Street art and murals add to the vibrancy of city life. They add colour, curiosity and amazing works of artistry to be found along main roads and tucked away in laneways.
For the third year running, the Adelaide Fringe has contributed to the ongoing cultural life of our city by commissioning several large art works to adorn buildings around town in a program known as Street Art Explosion. The program also provides a self-guided walking tour map for punters to stroll through the square mile and discover these and other amazing works themselves.
Artist Zombie Queen, AKA Penny Martin, has put together a series of hosted tours targeting specific parts of the city. She leads the group on foot, highlighting significant legal artwork, talking about the artists behind the paintings and discussing art in general. It’s her first time running such a tour and, with a bit more organisation and finesse, she’s onto a winner.
Her first tour on 24 February focussed on the East End of the city and so will, it appears, the tour on 10 March. The final walking tour on 17 March begins on Whitmore Square in the south-west corner of the city.
This weekend, the debut tour explored three Street Art Explosion works, complemented by a range of other notable paintings primarily around Rundle Street. Artist Leah Grant met the tour group to talk directly about her own contribution: a depiction of Rapunzel’s hair being let down on the front of a Frome Road car park. She discussed the idea, the challenges of scaling a sketch to such a size, the use of aerosol paints, and her own artistic career.
Further along, Claire Foxton’s hidden tribute to suffragette Muriel Matters was a sight to behold on Dawkins Place, while Mimby Jones Robinson’s Goddess is an explosion of colour along the otherwise dull Tam O’Shanter Place. The latter is also the cover image selected for the Fringe’s Street Art Explosion Map.
These amazing pieces are here to stay. They’re not temporary installations but they’re well worth exploring before age or the weather begins to wear down their impact over time.
As a host, Zombie Queen is easy going and fun. Her passion for art and Street Art in particular is evident however she needs to put that knowledge to better use, imparting more than she currently does. As an informational tour, there needs to be a flood of facts, stories, history and ideas at each stop, not just a few interesting words. Once she finds that balance between not enough and too much information, these tours will be worth far more than the measly $10 currently being charged. I’m looking forward to attending more in the future and watching both her tours and our Street Art culture grow.
Reviewed by Rod Lewis
Rating out of 5: 3.5
Venue: Various starting points across Adelaide
Season: 24 February, 10 & 17 March 2018
Duration: 90 minutes