by Nikki Savvides in New Illustration on Monday 8 February 2010

The twenty minute walk from my house to Newtown takes me down cramped backstreets and past run-down buildings decorated with some of the best stencil art I’ve ever see. One of its creators is Sydney’s Syke, a member of a group known as the Original Art Club, who ‘busk’ their art on the streets of the inner-city suburb.

Syke sells small stencilled and graffiti works by donation to fund her studies at art college, and pedestrians on Newtown’s King Street can’t help but be drawn in by her delicate, evocative work. Finalist in the 2009 Australian Stencil Art Prize, and a member of the Oh Really! art collective, Syke works on the basis that producing a lot of pieces that sell cheaply is great exposure. ‘[Art busking] is a great way for us to produce a lot of work and advance our skills as well as make money and get our art out into the public arena’, she says.