By Adrian Doyle
Did you know that on average Hosier Lane gets around 10,000 tourists a day? That is pretty extraordinary.
When you think about it, you struggle to think of anything else in Victoria that attracts this amount of tourists, plus its free and all we have to do is look after it.
It is clear that people travel to Melbourne just for the street art and that it is a million-dollar industry for Melbourne’s economy. So why has the laneway become so ugly?
Between the Mariners making another million dollars and the council trying to fix it in the wrong way, it is clear that Hosier Lane is in a bad way. And once again the responsibility lands directly on the rich.
It’s funny. I think people would be upset if a “Culture Kings” store was open at the 12 Apostles or at the penguin parade. Yet that’s what these so called culture kings have done in Hosier Lane.
More like culture vultures, they even have security guards on their door in Hosier Lane to stop the homeless and artists from entering. This is truly outrageous and I would like to know who in the council allowed this to happen. They are either corrupt or just stupid.
After I painted the entirety of Rutledge Lane Empty Nursery Blue the council set up a group called Hosier Inc. This was made of people who photograph art and people who live in the area, not artists.
These guys were given a vast budget and proceeded to paint the whole of Hosier Lane black. And they took down the light boxes set up by City Lights in 1999. They painted over some of the most important art in Melbourne.
I know I painted over Rutledge but it is always changing and there was little art of importance that I went over. And it was, in its own right, an artwork.
I often hear people complaining about all the homeless in Hosier Lane and it is true. Youth Space is located in Hosier Lane and it helps the homeless wash their clothes and get a coffee on a cold day.
The work they do is great and important. It might help to move this project to another part of Melbourne’s CBD but, in the end, the problems in Hosier Lane are there because of poor decisions and rich people exploiting its beauty.
I believe Hosier is on its last legs and unless the council takes drastic action it will be gone forever. It should not be legal to paint there. As this is not the place to practice.
It should be the pride of Melbourne’s street art scene. But I can think of 10 laneways which are better. And that’s not good enough.
It was for so long the pride of Melbourne.
Please let’s put this laneway back on the map and give the thousands of tourists that visit what they deserve.