By Adrian Doyle
As the planet completes another rotation of the sun, and things really ramp up in 2021 I hope all readers had a fun and somewhat normal holiday.
Last year was interesting; it was a seriously good time for artists to lock themselves in their studio and create art in a COVID-induced stupor. I thought I would give you a bit of a run down on what’s been happing around Blender Studios.
So, this month saw the painting of a 90-metre mural at the troubled Central Pier in Docklands. Blender has been commissioned by TAC to help celebrate and inform the community about all the new bike paths and bike lanes that have been set up during the past few years. This wall coincides with the release of the Melbourne bike map. So, we decided to get eight of Melbourne’s hottest urban artists to create the dynamic and large-scale mural. The mural reflects on the icons of inner-city suburbs.
Adnate created a portrait of the lady whom was the original model of the skipping girl to represent Richmond, Kaffine has created a very awesome LGBTQI-friendly artwork of Collingwood and its famous characters and icons, and I will be creating the link from the suburbs to the inner city. It was completed at the end of February and the mural will be up for quite a few months so get on your bike and go check it out.
Hosier Lane had remained reasonably clean and cool since we re-did it for the Melbourne Christmas Festival. It’s been really amazing that the lane has remained in such great condition for so long. Some of the work has been replaced, without being destroyed. One artist decided to paste up a kangaroo skull in the main spot. I couldn’t see any artistic or conceptual premise in such a piece when the rules generally are don’t go over a work unless you are going to do something better. The problem is some of these art school kids think they are awesome. As the lane slowly slips back into mediocrity now really is the time for the council and the community and the artists to come together and fix Hosier Lane once and for all. It creates so much income and credibility to Melbourne’s creative landscape that we should look at where we would like it to be in five years. Keep in mind it was getting around 7000 visitors a day pre-COVID.
The New Blender Lane that runs between Haileybury College and Blender Studios (off Dudley St) has fast become one of the coolest spots to see the city’s street art, as artists have slowly filled the lane with hidden treasures, sculptures miniatures stencils and artwork.
If you’re in the lane between Wednesday and Saturday between 12pm and 5pm, you can visit the Darkhorse Experiment. This is the gallery that runs out of the Blender Studios and has direct access from the New Blender Lane.
I am fortunate enough to have my exhibition Suburban Isolation currently running for three weeks until March 20. My show is the culmination of four years of research that will lead to the completion of my PhD. This show looks at the intersection of fine art and street art and will have two major immersive installations based on the artwork where I covered the entirety of Rutledge Lane in Empty-Nursery Blue and made it look like a giant empty swimming pool. The other installation is a bit of a secret and I have made many small works and paintings, most which were made during the lockdowns.
Darkhorse Experiment (Blender Studios) is located at 35 Dudley St, West Melbourne.
Anyway, that’s some of what’s been happening around Blender and the CBD.
Hope to see you around.