"I Have a Dream" Mural, Sydney

"I Have a Dream" Mural, Sydney

Perhaps the most photographed piece of urban street art in Australia, the “I Have a Dream” mural commemorates American civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This is one of the largest and the longest-surviving murals in the Newtown area. Described as a "humanist protest against the sterility of postmodern art", it was created over weekend in August 1991 by a team led by New Zealand-born Canadian artist Andrew Aiken and his colleague Juilee Pryor.

Aiken and Pryor painted their work illegally, without Council permission – although they asked for it twice, but were refused. So they decided to do it anyway and concealed their work by hiding in plain view. Starting at 7pm on Friday, they worked through the night and resumed it the following evening. For this job, they used a cherry picker borrowed from a friend and a thousand dollars worth of paint.

The produced mural features a large portrait of Dr. King along with the Gothic lettering of his famous words from the speech made in 1963. Beneath it, in smaller letters, is the quotation from Genesis 37:19: "Behold the dreamer cometh; Come now therefore and let us slay him, and we shall see what will become of his dreams".

While the upper section of the design remains largely unchanged from the original, the lower part of it has endured numerous changes. At some point, the Aboriginal Flag was added at the bottom of the artwork. A portion of the left-hand-side was damaged by fire in 2011, but was soon restored.

The iconic mural is now a heritage-listed landmark following a historic decision made by the Marrickville Council to preserve it. It has been featured in a TV documentary and a music video of “A Sky Full of Stars” by UK band Coldplay.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.

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"I Have a Dream" Mural on Map

Sight Name: "I Have a Dream" Mural
Sight Location: Sydney, Australia (See walking tours in Sydney)
Sight Type: Statue/Public Art
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

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