Notes on Melbourne’s street art. School groups are returning to Hosier Lane, Melbourne’s most famous street art location. There must have been sixty or seventy school kids and four teachers in the lane as I walked down its bluestones to Flinders Lane. There are still two sides to the lane (see my post) — a facile commercial and a sensitive community side. Lots of new paste-ups, people are really going to town with them. There was also some recent work by local street art veterans, including Phoenix, Facter and Manda Lane.
Although everyone in Melbourne has heard of Hosier Lane, few will know of Baptist Place. Basically, it is a long alleyway between some buildings with a bit of an open node around an entranceway in the middle that had not been buffed in a decade (I could date it from the art). Baptist Place has a street sign, but I’m having problems with it on my photo program’s maps.
There was work by Manda Lane at the entrance to the lane.
Manda Lane is one of those street artists you don’t need to know but probably should. Her paste-up drawings of plants bring foliage to the city’s lanes. These are location critical, giving an impression of black and white plants. I had just seen a painting of local botany by her in Hosier Lane. She is one of Melbourne’s Ninjas of Street Art; others of that middle-class street art crew had left their presence in the Baptist Place.
Some of the walls of Baptist Place have been recently buffed with a mustard yellow paint making more room for new work. Painted out, buffed pieces by Night Krawler still visible under the single layer of paint made way for new black and white stencil works. These are Night Krawler’s black and white stencils of retro-occult scenes. Stencil images that exist as multiples, so the loss is no loss. In other lanes, I see more pieces by Manda Lane, Night Krawler, paste-ups and stencils by Sunfigo, a freehand painting by CDH, and paste-ups by Mr Dimples and others.
Stencil art started my interest in Melbourne’s street art and involved me in running the Melbourne Stencil Festival/Sweet Streets. There used to be so many people doing stencil art. Still there is always someone doing aerosol spray paint in Melbourne’s street art scene. And generally, they are pretty good at it, with multi-layer stencils, politically conscious with a sense of humour.
August 8th, 2022 at 1:31 PM
I thoroughly enjoyed this new post.
We’ve opened a pop-up art space in Baptist Place. It’s one of the shop-front activation schemes organised by the City of Melbourne to revitalise the city and bring people back to it.
So it’s called Creative POD and it’s on the corner of the Baptist Place and Little Collins Street at 209 precisely. This is a podcast studio combined with the art exhibitions.
It’s not easy. It’s been very hard to be honest as most people continue to work from home.
We installed a steel sculpture by artist Jenny Reddin in front of it on the footpath and it got vandalised.
We’ve placed an emerging artist as an artist in residence for this month and maybe in October will make our way out as unfortunately we’re only adding more time and money to make the space work but not getting anything back.
Thank you again Mark for your input to our art life and keep up the great work.
Anna Prifti Director
West End Art Space
August 8th, 2022 at 6:19 PM
Thanks for reading and information on your attempt to activate Baptist Place. I must have another look at Baptist Place and the Creative POD.