Tag Archives: Rutledge Lane

A decade ago in Hosier Lane

Instead of going out paint-spotting today; photographing graffiti and street art around the city I am staying home. I have been cleaning up my photo collection of graffiti and street art. The photos need to be named, tagged, filed. In the process I saw my photos of Hosier Lane and, the then adjoining, Rutledge Lane from a decade ago in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

Hosier Lane was not created so that people could sell product or attract tourists. It was a place for graffiti writers and street artists, where they could spray in the centre of city. Not that those original intentions mean anything in what it has become. So here is a photo-essay about Hosier Lane from over a decade ago when there were a lot less tourists and a bit more respect for the art.

Stormie Mills (cut off) Reko Rennie, Drew Funk and Vexta all on one wall in December 2009.

Empty Nursery Blue

Adrian Doyle’s ‘Empty Nursery Blue’ project in Rutledge Lane combined the monochrome palette of Yves Klein with his powdery pigment laden monochrome blue and Christo’s sense of scale and landscape. Painting the whole lane blue from the tarmac to the buildings; this is going large on a scale never before seen in Melbourne.

“By doing this, I am claiming that a colour in its pure form can be street art or graffiti. This is a great conceptual link from fine art to street art, a link that is often lacking in the Melbourne Street Art scene. By bridging this gap, I hope to expose more people not only to Street Art, but also to the importance of art in general.” Doyle (“Empty Nursery Blue Lane Way…
” see Invurt for full text and photos.)

Hosier Lane Inc. made a statement on their website:

“Hosier inc is a supporter of initiatives which endeavour to ‘raise the bar’ particularly in regards to street amenity – not just street art. Adrian Doyle’s ‘Empty Nursery Blue’ project is one which has the potential to challenge the status quo of street amenity in Rutledge Lane.”

“The ball has lobbed squarely into the court of the street art and tagging fraternity – we’re interested to see what ‘vision’ that segment of laneway contributors has for this exciting laneway community. We’d hope that the overall outcomes encourage a healthy discourse on friendship, responsibility and creative endeavour.”

I agree with Hosier Lane Inc.; I haven’t seen much progress in street art this year until now. I applaud Doyle’s work as a challenge to the status quo and as a conceptual link between fine art and street art.

This challenge to the status quo did not last long (only 45 minutes according to Doyle) after all Rutledge Lane is a free area for anyone to paint. The status quo responded by painting over ‘Empty Nursery Blue’ before the end of the day. I only “saw” ‘Empty Nursery Blue’ in a few photos on Facebook and it lasted only a few hours. So much for the street art ethos of don’t paint over it unless you can paint something better; in Invurt’s next post “Snapshots – Empty-Nursery Blue Burners @ Rutledge Lane” I didn’t see anything that even came close.

Part of the audacity of Doyle’s project is being aware of all of this and what the reaction would be. “Today’s piece was not a buff, it was a burner!” Doyle commented on Facebook.


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