Melbourne: Hosier Lane

Graffiti is a complicated art form. It begins as Tagging.  Tagging is the street mark of a defiant kid with a spray can. Her sign.  In its truest form it is a personal shout out against the dark, it is furious and subversive, often sadly hateful, linear, painted on the run – literally, and is not designed to be beautiful. It is a stab.  It is a signature. A tag. It screams “See me. Don’t forget me. I am not a shadow.” I worked with many of these young taggers  in my teaching days and found that the moment I gave them a wall of my classroom to paint on, the subversive tagging became wonderful graffiti.  A thing to be proud of.   Though graffiti has its roots in tagging, it is not the same.

Downtown graffiti like Hosier Lane is vibrant and joyous. When graffiti is encouraged as an art-form it loses its  bitter shallow defiance and becomes brilliant and full and wonderfully complicated. Hosier Lane is one of a couple of lanes  in Downtown Melbourne given over entirely to graffiti artists.
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A cacophony of colour.

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Isn’t it wonderful?
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Once I get used to seeing so many people all in one place – I love the big city.
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Today we go camping and climbing in the Grampians. It appears that I will have to drink my wine from a rubber cup and eat my pasta and pesto with a plastic spork. And sleep on the ground!! Horrors. This is camping not Glamping.

So I may be out of coverage for a few  days, though it is possible we can set up a hot spot and get a message out to you.  Then  I will have glorious images of the mountains for you. (I hope.)

We get back on Saturday and I begin the long trek home to the farmy (Illinois)  on Sunday morning so it will be a fast turn around on the weekend.

Much love

Talk to you in a few days


24 Comments on “Melbourne: Hosier Lane

  1. wow! Amazing graffiti…you will love the camping Ce. Look forward to the photos

  2. I googled the Grampians — WOW….spectacular! You’ll be ready for the Tetons in Wyoming next!

  3. Oh, a lovely post! That whole area near the Ian Potter centre has the most wonderful graffiti, and you have to admire a city that encourages channelling the talent so creatively. And as for the Grampians, well, very, very jealous. The air out there is marvellous and you should sleep like a log despite having to slum it on the ground 🙂

  4. Surreal that our experiences and travels are crossing over. We wandered Hosier Lane earlier in the week, and compared the street art to Sydney’s inner city, and felt at home. We love it. Tomorrow we’ll follow the Great Ocean Road to Apollo Bay then drive its length to Portland and onto the Grampians. We’re already doing the plastic wine glass etc 😕thing not quite camping not quite glamping. Yesterday the G. O. and I remarked to each other that we feel so fortunate to be able to do these travels… same for you. Enjoy.

    • And just now, before reading this, I have published my blog post about our time in Melbourne, and I have a couple of photos from Hosier Lane as well! It is so odd, and yet not, that our experiences are overlapping at the moment, when usually they are quite different. xx

  5. I love graffiti. We have a few iconic pieces around the city and an entire park dedicated to it. City life often needs more color.

  6. The guy fading into the street’s blurs of grey, light blue puddles, rust smudges and whirls of orange–hauntingly beautiful! Made more so by the beer can, its balancing colors, its commentary, its life. This street is full of wonders.

    How is it that each day’s post is a surprise, and a joy . I’ll never get to Australia etc., but now I am. Grazie mille!

  7. I am ambivalent about graffiti . . . I hate to think of the hundreds of thousands of tax-payers’ dollars spent annually in the Greater Sydney Basin removing the ‘artwork’ of angry and frustrated youngsters on trains and surrounds. At the same time it can be a fascinating art form and Melbourne certainly has a most honourable ‘art gallery’ thereof. Thank you for the marvellous photos! Enjoy the Grampians – have very dear friends in Portland but your time limits would preclude . . .

  8. Hope you’re having a great time camping… even with the ‘sleeping on the ground’ part!! Looking forward to seeing the photos of your time in the mountains!

  9. I so agree with you on the wall art. I love what some paint that is called graffiti. Tagging is not attractive to look at and I understand why they do it. I wish more areas would allow the beauty of wall art. Enjoy your camping. My idea of camping is the Holiday Inn without room service. That’s as rough as I go now. 🙂 Oh well.

  10. I’ve just seen so much graffiti and street art now that it fails to make any impression…..the zeitgeist is that everything’s brilliant…we’ve lost the comparative…but have a great time camping…a clear oxymoron:)

  11. I’ve always appreciated tagging/grafitti. Some places are the better for being covered with rebellion in colour and joie de vivrel

    Have a lovely time camping. Do they have midges in Australia? That’s the only downside for me of camping in the wild.
    ViV xox

  12. I hope you’re really enjoying your camping days with the family. Cannot wait to hear what you cooked over the campfire — or is a little hibachi grill too glam? 🙂
    How I wish we had something similar to Hosier Lane. I doubt if it would rid neighborhoods of all gang-related tagging — they’re marking territory — but it would make a difference, to be sure.

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