By Adrian Doyle
Hosier Lane has seen some hard times in the past few years, with the opening of Culture Kings and much of the street art being destroyed by tags and bad art.
When the art school kids hit the lane with fire extinguishers filled with paint earlier this year, they did the lane a favour.
Hosier Lane was finished!
A Melbourne icon that gets around 6000 tourists a day is on life support. To make things worse there was the announcement earlier this year that there would be a hotel built in Hosier Lane. This has no doubt put the creative free- dom of Australia’s most famous laneway on notice. Can it be revived? With things looking so catastrophic for Hosier Lane, it’s hard to imagine that it could ever be as good as it once was.
It could happen, but it will take work, collaboration and understanding.
Through my role at Blender Studios I have set up a number of laneways in the CBD over the years; Blender Lane, Lovelands and Flinders Court, and I am currently talking with Haileybury College, to set up Blender Lane Two next to our studio, near Flagstaff Gardens. Although not confirmed, it is important for cultural and educational institutions to work together to make the city more culturally inter- esting and to create platforms for public art and experimentation.
This month has seen much of Melbourne’s famous Hosier Lane repainted. Originally it was to be an outdoor and COVID-safe alternative for many families looking to enjoy a Melbourne Christmas with the Myer windows originally cancelled.
There has been a number of murals placed around the City of Melbourne, including; Hessco in Lygon St piazza, George Rose in Errol St, North Melbourne, and Makatron in Kensington. And there is also the Hosier Lane paint-up. This included many important local and national artists and will help revive a lane that has become so important to Melbourne both culturally and via the tourist dollar.
Some of the artists that have added their mark are Presto, Maha, Kaffine, Manda Lane, Duke, Liz Sontag, Kasper and so many more. We respected the important and awesome art from the past, while adding another cleaner layer of fresh art to the stains of time.
The lane now looks better, it’s now just a matter of keeping it up to date and, allowing a continuously and controlled evolution of the art. Hosier is a space for good artists to make good art, it is an important part of Melbourne’s creative vernacular.
Yes, there is a chance Hosier Lane can once again be beautiful, aesthetic and restored, and become a pivotal and proud voice for creative Melbourne. Although it is highly unlikely, but at least there is something happening in Hosier and the laneway for the time being is looking much better.
For the rest of this month and into the future you can check out all of these amazing family friendly public art murals. Plus of course, some of Melbourne’s Christmas classics like, the Myer windows, the Christmas projections and Santa.
There is so much more this year in the city, Christmas is awesome, and so is Melbourne!