Street Art In Focus – Little Rundle Street Art Project

It’s that time of year again in Adelaide – the time where everyone crawls out of hibernation to enjoy the festive, balmy nights filled with theatre performances, art exhibitions, artisan night markets and music from the world over. It’s Fringe time.

Making the most of this is Claire Graham – owner of Tincat Café and founder of the Little Rundle Street Art Project on the outskirts of Adelaide’s CBD. The project can be described as a street art gallery in a small industrial precinct, designed to create a sense of community between local artists, businesses and the public.

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Artwork by Tayla Carlaw & tarns87

Describing itself as ‘an ambitious plan to create an arts corridor for Fringe 2016 and beyond’, and ambitious they have been. Receiving a High Commendation from the Adelaide Fringe 2016 Fringe Weekly Award Winners #1 for their official Opening Party, this little project is rising out of the industrial brick walls to create a colourful, quirky gallery in the back streets of Kent Town.

With numerous artists involved, Claire says that you really have to take the time to look around, up and down to fully appreciate the amazing work undertaken to diversify Little Rundle Street. If you’re in Adelaide and haven’t been there yet, we would highly recommend that you do!

We had the chance to chat to Claire about the project and all things art related.

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Artwork by Sair Bean & Joshua Smith

What is your background in the Adelaide and arts scene?

Dave and I took over Tincat Cafe in the post-Bromley era, 2000, and chose to honour his ethos regarding emerging artists – choosing not to exhibit his work, but to seek out people who were making their early forays into exhibitions. As we move towards leaving Tincat, the street art project became an extension of that ethic.

What is the purpose of the project?

Little Rundle Street Art Project began as a labour of love – a parting gift to my beloved Kent Town, an outdoor gallery accessible to all, and representing our community in all its diversity. The “brief” to celebrate creativity, to increase connectivity, and create community.

What inspired you to start the project?

Grey walls, fast cars and a community with an identity crisis.

Which local artists are involved?

Too many to name but Jack Fran, Joshua Smith, Matthew John Plummer, Sair Bean, Sarah Boese, Tayla Carlaw, Adam Coldkrush, Adam Geisler, Kerryn Davey and Mitchell Clinch, Tyler Mario, Kab 101, Harriet McKay, Juniper Darling, Monica Prichard, Marnie Wark, Elizabeth Close, Leah Grant & Fred Rock Raldon, Nina Rupena, Tutti Arts, Piano, Kathleen Morris, Sam Horne, Seb Humphreys, Hyde and Seek, Mark Twohig, Textile Warrior, 10TKL, Danae Thyssen, Annette Rohde, Rebekah Cole, Wendy Dixon Whiley, Jimmy C, and FinDAC (our honorary Kent Town Irishman).

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Artwork by Tayla Carlaw

Are other businesses in the precinct also involved in the project? If so, what role do they play?

Businesses in this precinct gave permission for their walls to be painted, and have supported the core ideals behind this project! On our opening night, several local businesses showcased their wares, and even local kids got in on the action with an organic lemonade stall.

How does this space differ from regular art galleries (apart from being outside in the public realm)?

It is accessible 24/7, it has no pretension, and it is welcoming and inclusive.

What role do you think artists have in society?

Artists are the seamstresses of our social fabric – in this project they have stitched a communal space together with art. People gather now where they did not before, and there is cause for discussion.

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Artwork by Jimmy C

What do you think the Adelaide arts scene needs to grow?

The art scene in Australia needs more funding; creatives should be paid for their endeavours… Adelaide’s street art movement needs more free walls for up and coming artists, to remove some of the stigma by creating legal space for emerging graffiti and street artists to evolve – without tags there is no growth or movement and as a city we need to recognise that.

 If you could work with any artist, who would it be and why?

The core team on Little Rundle – because together we are more than the sum of our parts… the whole process has been entirely organic and I liken it to a honeycomb… sweet and connected.

A student on a recent tour asked me to choose my favourite piece. I cannot, as having worked with this group over the summer they each have become important to me as people – so impossible to choose (well, nearly).

What’s in-store for the future of the project?

Taking over the world one beautiful space at a time – insert maniacal laugh… no not really. We are in discussions with people from council, business and festivals. Watch this space!

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Artwork by Piano

View all the photos from the opening party here.

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