I am extremely late with this post, it’s been a busy last month or so, but I wanted to share the 2nd session of All Your Walls Melbourne, a satellite event we ran in late November as a part of the MELBOURNE NOW exhibition held by the National Gallery of Victoria. You can read all about the event in my previous post here.
The final 3 days were definitely not as hectic, I’d say that is due to the fact we didn’t have 6 massive scissor lifts moving around the lanes all day, but it was a great way to finish off the event.
Artists starting arriving early on the 1st day and worked all the way up until the official opening. The last 3 days of the event attracted thousands of visitors coming to see the finished laneways. All stakeholders were delighted with the final result, a full repaint of the entire Hosier and Rutledge Lane precinct, something that has never been done before. The event also received some great reviews.
Check out this great video from EdInFocus that gives you a good idea of what the event was all about.
From my personal perspective the importance of this event extended beyond the event itself. Rutledge Lane (Hosier’s lesser known cousin) has become known as a “practice lane” due to the poor quality of the work being painted there. All Your Walls showed Melbourne that Rutledge Lane can be just as good as Hosier Lane and in my opinion should remain that way. It was a refreshing sight to see that for several weeks after the event the work was respected (usually it gets tagged and painted over by complete rubbish, that does not deserve to be in the lane, again in my opinion). It was also both surprising and pleasing to see that local artists have begun to maintain the lanes, without being asked.
My feelings about Rutledge Lane are in line with my recent submission/response to the Melbourne City Council Graffiti Management Policy. Melbourne City Council recently proposed officially classifying Rutledge lane as a practice lane, which I was strongly opposed to. Encouraging this behaviour encourages a “do as you wish” attitude in Rutledge lane, which before All Your Walls was at it’s worst state in a long time. (Adrian Doyle’s Empty Nursery Blue project also had an impact on this lane). [The policy also contains some great ideas and a fresh new attitude towards street art in Melbourne, for example now the council will leave street art alone, unless asked. Previously the council would contact building owners and ask if they would like it removed. I think this is a pretty progressive attitude for a council, even though the council knows that Melbourne would not be the same without street art].
One other important thing I would like to clear up, especially for my readers in Melbourne. While All Your Walls was indeed organised by a number of parties (NGV, Land of Sunshine, Invurt, Just Another Agency and Hosier INC), Hosier and Rutledge lanes remain free for ANYONE to paint, anytime. That being said, don’t cap what you can’t burn, seriously, what an embarrassment some of the tags and pieces are over the top of some REAL work.