Urban Art – Streets Come to Life

Living in Melbourne and being very familiar with street art which decorates the many hidden laneways of the city, I was very impressed with the street art that can be found in Belgium. One particular city which caught my attention was Hasselt located in the Limburg province in Eastern Belgium.

Hasselt is a small town which as attracted visitors who come to see the artworks, the street art in Hasselt was the first to be legalised in Belgium, attracting local and visiting artists. The city has established tours which take tourists down lanes that are lit up with the colours of artworks.

In my home town of Melbourne, much of the street art consists of smaller artworks and tags which cover walls in laneways, Hasselt is mainly decorated with larger murals instead which open up the streets.

Some artists use the surroundings and existing architecture to make a mural which incorporates paint and the building itself. I found this interesting as it shows the possibilities of the art that can be produced.

The murals in the city, allow for an outlet for local tourists to demonstrate their work and to bring colour to the small city to liven it up. For me, the artwork represents an uplifting dynamic in Hasselt and gives it the modern and colourful vibe. The aesthetic of the city has been brightened with the art and the somewhat dull and grey buildings have been splashed with colour.

What surprised me was not only the intricate murals themselves, but there is an annual Street Art Festival held which showcases the hard work of artists in Belgium. There is also a book which documents the murals of the festival, keeping the memories from the festival of that year.

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