a collective of artists enliven an urban laneway with captivating murals in byron bay

a collective of artists enliven an urban laneway with captivating murals in byron bay


a group of eight artists – from berlin and new south wales – joined forces with innovative place making partners, creative road and fullerton creative, to activate an overlooked urban laneway in the coastal town and tourism mecca, byron bay. stemming from a desire to enliven underutilized metropolitan spaces using public art, the team of creatives transformed the once drab bitumen and concrete thoroughfare into a perpetual place of beauty and wonder. through a curated application of color, light, pattern, texture and form, existing structures and buildings were brought to life, forming ‘elysium’.

gretscher’s mural ‘garden full of light’ is on the rear façade of a surf-shop, facing the laneway
artwork by artist danny gretscher
image © taojones photography



the installation of elysium, byron bay’s first permanent place-making seed-fund project, commenced in march 2017 and concluded after 14 days and nights of painting, hard labor and weather delays. over 40 businesses and individuals supported the project, providing financial and in-kind contributions. $125 000 of in-kind support was donated by curators, project managers, engineers, builders, electricians and artist volunteers. elysium delivers a ‘unique sense of space for lateen lane, improving safety, amenity and creating a light bright and energetic atmosphere’, says creative road‘s rebecca townsend. ‘the installation intentionally moved away from traditional imagery associated with byron bay, introducing something entirely different – an immersive contemporary art experience.’

andrew dennis’ ‘tropical coral underwater scene’ is painted on a building façade and nearby garage at the eastern entry to laneway
artwork by artist andrew dennis
image © callie marshall photography



‘for us, supporting initiatives such as elysium, fosters culture, creativity and inclusivity in our local community. it has brought together the community through art and a space to enjoy and be proud of in our town,’ explained jasmin daly from stone and wood brewing co. ‘the project has reinvigorated the lane, benefitting locals, businesses and those who come to this part of the world to experience byron bay’s uniqueness.’ stone and wood are one of the project’s key partners along with byron shire council, base backpackers, splendour in the grass and harley graham architects.

world naked bike ride through the elysium laneway
image © callie marshall photography

artwork by artists danny gretscher and andy dennis
image © callie marshall photography

byron bay artist colleen darosa called her elysium artwork ‘slow light’, in reference to the surrounding landscapes, sky and ocean
artwork by artist colleen darosa
image © taojones photography

detail of artist kellie o’dempsey’s fish ladies
image © callie marshall photography

artwork by artists harley graham & max beaur and lymesmith
image © yellow bull weddings

the elysium team in front of artwork by andy dennis
image © callie marshall photography

artwork by harley graham & max beaur and lymesmith
image © callie marshall photography



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: lynn chaya | designboom

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
    all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    art news

    keep up with our daily and weekly stories
    491,173 subscribers
    - see sample
    - see sample