Melbourne is the art capital of Australia, but what most visitors don’t realise is that there is also a side to Melbourne’s art culture that is often mistaken for vandalism. Melbourne holds the reputation for having the best street art in world and attracting both local and international artists to contribute to the growing scene. Walking through the city of Melbourne, or suburbs on the city fringe, it’s hard to miss the ‘graffiti’ which lines the alleys. From stencil work to poster art, or perhaps ‘instillations’: although some may look down on it, the fact is that though it will continue to change and evolve, it is there to stay.
This is the first post in a short series of the best lane ways to find street art in Melbourne.
Combining different styles of street art, I found this particular piece to be one of the more interesting in Union Lane. Combining instillation (the cut-out of Afghanistan and the hand with the arrow saying ‘force’ are both cut-outs ‘installed’ there) and what appeared to be a wheat paste image of the nutcracker, this piece was a thought provoking political piece. It causes the viewer to question its intentions and think about what it was communicating – “Why does the creator think Afghanistan is being cracked?”
As I walked further a long the lane way I came across this piece which put the other into more context. (Sorry for it’s small size!)
Union Lane is a laneway off of Bourke Street, also known as Bourke Street Mall, the main shopping strip in Melbournes CBD. The lane way is approximately half way between Elizabeth St and Swanston St, next to the Jetty Surf shop in Bourke Street Mall.
Note: The nature of street art is that it is constantly changing. Whilst these pieces were viewable when I visited in July 2011, when you visit they may have been painted over.