Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The city’s laneways are like the living, breathing heart of Melbourne.

Here is where you’ll find vibrant, exciting and sometimes not so cool street art and graffiti on the walls, particularly in the Central Business District. During the past 10 months, I’ve wandered down numerous laneways hunting for hidden cafés, bars and street art. What’s good and bad is that the art work is constantly changing as local artists bring new life to the walls. However, sometimes some of my favorite murals are gone by the time I look down that street again.

All you have to do is wander around the laneways and discover your own favorite street art.

The city’s history of street art culture dates to the 1970s and ‘80s when local youth took their inspiration from the graffiti culture of NYC. Since then, the City of Melbourne has acknowledged the local artists by approving permits for street art with the building owners permission. The city requests that artists ‘do art; not tags;’ unfortunately not all youth comply and there’s a lot of tagging as well.

If you like street art, I’d recommend just rambling around and enjoy taking photos like I do. Here are 6 of My Favorite Laneways for Street Art in Melbourne:

Hosier Lane
The epitome of Melbourne’s street art – Hosier Lane – one of the originals that is constantly changing – and not always for the best, in my opinion. This is the laneway where you’ll find dozens of tourists at any time of the day. Lately, I’ve found Hosier Lane to be a bit disappointing, but at least it never stays the same.
Both of these murals have been painted over since I took these photos.
AC/DC Lane & Duckboard Place
Formerly Corporation Lane, it was renamed in 2004 in recognition of AC/DC, the rock group, as their status as Ambassadors for Australia, and its location in the rock bar district of Melbourne. The laneway is home to some great artwork – some of which is protected and will never be re-tagged. This is probably the only spot in Melbourne where you will always see the same piece of art!

Following AC/DC Lane around the bend, you will find Duckboard Place, which is another good place to find street art. While you’re down here, you might want to pop into Pastuso for some delicious ceviche and Peruvian tapas. 
This mural was just added in 2016.
Flinders Court
There’s a small laneway between Flinders Street and Flinders Lane called Flinders Court. The street art here isn’t the greatest, and I’d recommend holding your nose if you want to explore here.
Blender Lane
Since I shop weekly at the Queen Victoria Market, I’ve become quite familiar with nearby Blender Lane. Blender is filled with all kinds of street art, so you can easily take dozens of photos here! The laneway also is home to Blender Studios which comprises 15 artist studios and hosts regular street-art tours run by local artists. The 2.5-hour tour, available on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, finishes at the studios where you will get to see artists and street artists at work.
Don’t forget to visit another street art laneway just around the corner off Queen Street!

Sadly, this awesome piece was tagged over about 6 months ago.
Union Lane
The street art on Union Lane was initially completed in 2008 by a collective of young artists and their professional mentors as a part of the city's Graffiti Mentoring Project. In 2010, the city commissioned more than 70 artists to redecorate the lane with their work. Unfortunately, one of my favorite murals is no longer here.
Union Lane is located off of Bourke Street, also known as Bourke Street Mall, the main shopping strip in Melbourne’s CBD.

Tattersall’s Lane & Stevenson Lane
Tattersall’s Lane is one of Melbourne’s hidden laneway gems. Located between Lonsdale and Little Bourke, this laneway is a collection of bars and street art which define the city’s lively and alternative vibe. Also just tucked off here is a smaller laneway called Stevenson Lane.

On both laneways, you’ll find an abundance of art work on the walls including heaps of Melbourne’s favorite bushranging son Ned Kelly.
Look for street art created by WRDSMTH, a “writer doing time in L.A.” as his website states. I love his cute and sometimes inspirational quotes!

For more street art locations, check out the City of Melbourne’s website and this MelbourneStreet Art blogger, which has a detailed map at the bottom of the page.

Happy hunting for street art in Melbourne!

This post is linked up with #WeekendWanderlust by travel bloggers A Southern GypsyA Brit and a SouthernerJustin Plus Lauren and One Modern Couple. Hop on over to their blogs to see more travel stories or link up yourself!

My Traveling Joys

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Julia said...

Wow, definitely some great artwork there. Can't see Fethiye ever becoming known for its street art, somehow. ;) Love it when we see it elsewhere though.

Joy said...

@Julia, true! There's a bit of street art in İstanbul, but still not as much as elsewhere. Here it's changing all the time! :)

Juergen | dare2go said...

Oh, I love the bonus at the bottom, the WRDSMITH stencil art. Before seeing them I really wanted to mention the 'cool koala', it's so Australian, fittingly! < well here I did. ;)

Joy said...

Thanks Juergen! WRDSMTH is one of my favs too. Sadly the cool koala has been painted over.

Erin said...

What vibrant street art!

Ruth said...

What a great post! When referring to Melbourne's street art, most people refer to Hosier Lane. I like the fact that you are exposing other areas to appreciate street art. Makes me fill like I am getting true, honest recommendations.

Swapna said...

Not bad! How long did you take to collect all these pictures!
Do share at Practical Mondays Link Up too, would love to see your posts there :)

Joy said...

Yes @Erin, Melbourne is filled with it!

Joy said...

Thanks Ruth! I'm working on collecting street art images from other neighborhoods too as I walk around Melbourne. There are so many laneways and hidden alleys! :)

Dean @ La Vida Global said...

I was in Melbourne a couple of months ago and knew nothing of the street art scene. I wish I had seen this before I went, it would have given something else to do in the spare time.

Joy said...

Thanks @Swapna! I've been taking these off and on for over 6 months. I couldn't post all of them. :)

Thanks for the #linkup invite! I'll check it out.

Joy said...

Bummer Dean! Melbourne has such a fantastic street are scene. Maybe another time. :)

Joy said...

Bummer Dean! Melbourne has such a fantastic street are scene. Maybe another time. :)

Mal (IntoTheCity) said...

This is brilliant! I adore your street art posts, Joy, you always deliver so many fantastic photos of the places I'd never get a chance to see otherwise, thanks so much!

Mal x