Keith Haring Mural, Collingwood Technical College
Keith Haring Mural
at Collingwood Technical
College, Johnston Street,
NMIT Collection (Melbourne Polytechnic)
A surprising and significant feature on the former Collingwood Technical College building is the large two storey mural by New York street artist, Keith Haring (1958-1990).
In the 1980s, Haring was a cool and alternative rising star in the international art world and was invited to Australia in 1984 for the inaugural art project to launch the Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA).
The location was chosen for its authenticity; Haring commented that ‘Collingwood has a great community feel about it. Though its supposed to be a poor area, its nothing like the poverty I have seen in New York .’ Teachers and volunteer students wrangled a scissor lift to lay down the yellow background with paint brushes and rollers, and then Haring painted his characteristic red dynamic figures and computer brain caterpillar in one day. A small wooden door with his signature and an iconic ‘crawling baby’ motif went missing from the site, soon after it was painted (anonymously returned to Arts Victoria in 2013). The work on Johnston Street is one of only 31 known remaining Haring murals in the world. The original paint used by the teachers was not of high quality and overtime, it faded away. In 2013, the mural was restored by conservators to its original vibrancy.
For more information and some footage of Haring painting the mural in 1984, see the Keith Haring Mural story.
 Bellamy, L., Collingwood Tech’s Wall of Renown, The Melbourne Times, Melbourne, 14 March 1984, p. 3.