Melbourne's Finest


I had installed 2 of the 3 panels for Jeffries:Brady:Batman when a police van pulled up at the entrance to the open air parking lot I was working in (off Lonsdale st). Three policemen got out and started to walk towards me. I just kept working but I figured the night was going to end early. I'm paraphrasing but the conversation went like this:

Cop 1: “What’s going on here?”

Me: “Just installing some street art…. Trying to add some value into the community.”

Cop 2: “Do you have permission to be doing this?”

Me: “Umm yep.” [Lie]

Cop 1: “Yeah, then why are you doing it now?” (It was 3 am).

Me [I just made this up on the spot]: “The guy said it was cool, but I had to put it up after the car park closed. He didn’t want me dropping glue on the cars or putting the ladder around them. I just finished work, so I figured it was a good time to do it.”

Cop 3: “How much do you charge to do this?”

Me: “Nothing. Free to all.”

They all thought that was pretty cool. They were all very complimentary about the art.

Me: “Yeah street art is a big part of the culture of the city.”

We all agreed. They asked me about who I had painted. One of them already knew John Batman and told the other 2 about how he founded Melbourne. I told them the story of Brady and Jeffries and the dichotomy of man. They were all pretty interested. It was actually pretty fun, just hanging out and talking about street art on a warm night. We talked for maybe 10 minutes and they were pretty reasonable guys.

Me: “Well I gotta get back to work.”

Cop 1: “Cool.”

Me [climbing the ladder]: “Could you pass me up that last panel?”

He did. Nice guy.

As they were leaving, I grabbed my iPhone and snapped a photo. At the time I didn't want to push my luck and ask for a photo with them all, but I sincerely regret that now.


(Sorry iPhones take shitty photos at night at a distance)


Panels and gear on good camera. For scale the panels are 2.4 m wide. The ladder is 3m high.

I've had a lot of interactions with police but that was probably my most positive. In 2011, I think it's a sign of the way attitudes to street art are changing.