A forgotten alley in Katoomba came to life over the weekend when a rather unique outdoor street art gallery opened to the public.
Street Art Murals Australia (SAMA), in partnership with the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre, opened what is believed to be Australia's largest outdoor street art gallery - made up of legal graffiti.
Many of the works were created using scissor lifts and cherry pickers to reach the three storey high canvases.
The Street Art Walk on Beverly Place, off Waratah Street in Katoomba, is now covered in colour with more than 30 mural sites full of aerosol art. All but one were created freehand (one used a projector to meet the tight two-day timeframe).
Some 3000 square metres of wall or 150,000 bricks have been covered in colour by some of the best street artists who flew in from all around the world. Artists included Anthony Lister, Nico Nicoson, Peque VRS, L7M, Phibs, Cines and Jekse and Sid Tapia.
"The Blue Mountains have always been seen as a drawcard for creatives," said Paul Brinkman, Blue Mountains Culture Centre director.
"By SAMA and the cultural centre partnering in the development of Street Art Walk, not only are we building on the region's proud artistic identity but we are showing that the council values and recognises the community benefit of large scale creative projects."
Jarrod Wheatley, founder of SAMA, is hopeful the project will change public perceptions of street art.
"We waste vast amounts of taxpayer dollars on the endless cycle of cleaning graffiti, but perhaps even more damaging to our community is that we also fail to capitalise on the positive elements of street art that benefit our whole community."
It coincided with the Winter Magic festival and was made possible through a successful crowd-funding campaign which raised more than $19,000.
The laneway will evolve over the next few years as different artists add their works, and also paint over existing ones. Smart phone users can click on QR codes which will tell the full story of the artworks. Photo gallery online at: http://www.bluemountainsgazette.com.au/story/3164491/street-art-walk-comes-to-life-in-katoomba/?cs=1432