We love public art here in Greater Hamilton! Art is throughout all our towns and on a stroll through Hamilton’s main street and shopping precinct, you will find colourful pieces from some of our region’s best artists. We’ve collated a short trail through Hamilton’s CBD Art and we think it is one of the best ways to spend a sunny afternoon or morning, providing plenty of photo ops and instagrammable locations.
Start your walk from Brown Street, out the front of the Hamilton Library, Art Gallery and Cinema complex. But remember to also allow time for a gallery visit!
Standing outside of the complex you will find a sculpture of the God of Greek Mythology, Prometheus, commissioned for the art gallery in 1961. Created by sculptor Hermann Hohaus, it is one of the large-scale pieces created by this sculptor. Prometheus is said to have created humanity from clay and defied the Gods by stealing fire and giving it to mankind, making him a cultural hero.
A little further along the footpath you will find Hamilton’s newest art mural by Gene Stewart. This art piece was commissioned by the Hamilton Gallery and depicts the famous Grampians with their black silhouette on a yellow background. Bird silhouettes and coloured spots and shapes also feature on the mural giving it a fun feeling.
The next art instalment is only a few metres away hiding on the other side of the wall, in the laneway between the Hamilton Library and “Jack + Jude”. Here you will find an urban mural created by local artist Jesse Shannahan, “The Battle Against Mental Illness” funded through the Council’s Greater Grants program. It aims to bring light to the importance of mental health through the relatable form of comic style art. Jesse hopes that his mural will help break the habit of sitting down and trying to educate people about mental health by instead showing people what challenges with mental health feels like through something relatable.
Head across the road to “Cheap As Chips” and follow Gray Street down a little to discover one of Hamilton’s largest murals. Utilizing the Piet Mondrian style, the mural features blue, yellow and orange squares in a geometric and unsymmetrical pattern. The piece was created to cover the plain brick wall and add a fun, bright pop of colour down the street. Take in the murals size from the “Cheap as Chips” side of Gray Street or view is as a whole from the opposite side of the road.
Next up in the trail is Hamilton’s Nucleus. Take in the best views of the sculpture from one of the four corners of the road surrounding it. The huge statue in the city centre was a gift from local philanthropist the late Geoff Handbury. The futuristic piece by Phil Price is in almost constant movement, changing shape depending on the wind with parts separating and reforming.
Now cross the road and make your way to the Commonwealth Bank. Here you will find many sheep, a nod to Hamilton’s farming industry and the vast amount of wool that in produced in the area, earning the title of “Wool Capital of the World”. Not only will you find the classic Merino Ram along the top of the notice board, you will also find a collection of them against the back wall.
Once you’ve finished admiring the sheep sculptures, head across the road and wander west along Gray Street until you find McGuigan’s Lane. The work of many local artists and even the general public, McGuigan Lane is unmissable. Formally a standard laneway, the space has been completely transformed with art work from local talent including Grotti Lotti, Jasmine Mansbridge, Studio Marlo, Jimmi Buscombe, Krid’s Art, Madi Whtye, and Jesse Shannahan. A part of the Hamilton CBD Revitalisation project, each section of the footpath was created by a different artist, with the involvement of locals and school children. The end result is a bright fun footpath which is now an iconic part of Hamilton’s Laneway Art Trail, loved by kids and adults alike.
At the end of McGuigan Lane, look to your left and you may be able to make out the next stop on the trail. Wander through the carpark to your left to find the NAB Community Pocket Garden. The huge mural along the back wall of the Garden is a collaboration between two local artists Jasmine Mansbridge and Roger Edwards who have distinctly different styles but which have merged together to form the beautiful piece. The courtyard is also home to the ‘Hamilton Farmer’ sculptures by Dean Bowen and a Teepee installation from Trevor Flynn.
After you’ve taken in the Pocket Garden, wander up Corridale Lane and back on to Gray Street. Keep following Gray Street to the next roundabout and head up Thompson Street towards the Botanic Gardens. Along this stretch you will find Roxburgh House which is home to a Jasmin Mansbridge mural in its courtyard alleyway. The Roxburgh is a great place to stop by for a coffee while you admire the mural.
Continue to follow Thompson Street, keeping your eyes peeled for the Flooring Xtra Mural which is hiding down a driveway. Another Jasmine Mansbridge Mural, adds a bright pop of colour to the laneway, a lovely surprise when going past. The mural is an example of Jasmine’s well-known unique style using geometric patterns and bright colours.
Follow Thomspon Street until you find one of the most beautiful places in town, the Botanic Gardens. Wander through and enjoy not only the gorgeous gardens but the many sculptures and interesting pieces within the gardens. Find the statue of King George, an old canon and interpretive signage. The heritage listed Thomson Fountain can also be found in the gardens and has been recently restored making it a must-see when visiting the gardens and provides the perfect place to finish up after a walk-through Hamilton’s public art landscape.