Street art has transformed the streetscape, and mindset of Benalla, Vic. 

Story and photos Heather Zubek

Benalla’s Wall to Wall Festival is now in its third year, with more than 3000 people visiting the town over one weekend. 

The artwork is continuing to draw visitors off the nearby Hume Highway and into the centre of town. You can’t go anywhere in Benalla without coming across a work of art. On the wall of the local real estate agent, a young woman stares across the park ,and from the side of the fruit shop a giant red-bellied black snake looks ready to strike. The artists themselves seem otherworldly, with names like Dvate, Rone and Smug.

“Street art is not really understood or recognised by most people in the traditional art community,” says Andrew King, who, along with his wife Sandra Powell, is one of Australia’s foremost art collectors. “A lot of people turn their nose up at it. There is graffiti and there is street art but, if you judge it by the number of participants, street art is the biggest art movement of all time.”

The 2018 Wall to Wall Festival will be held March 16–18.
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This story excerpt is from Issue #115

Outback Magazine: October/November 2017