A blaze of colour, the pungent odor of aerosol fumes, the haphazard layering of the art and the unexpected tidiness of the footpath, its all too much. A first time visitor to the area I’m trying to take it all in.
Odd though! the lane-ways are clean and tidy. A pleasant surprise but somewhat out of character …. then again perhaps not so surprising when I stop to think. Why would any tourist visit the area if it was dirty and covered in litter and garbage.
Underfoot the build up of fine pigment adds to the impression that every inch of usable space has been painted, over and over and over again. Even the rubbish skips have received the treatment.
Glancing along the walls all I see is chaos and clutter. But I soon realise that the only way to really experience the place is to look and keep looking.
I ask myself, “What’s here?” “What’s it all about?”
Tags are plentiful, single colour, scrawled without much imagination. Artistic colourful tags, some of which are quiet large. Past-ups and stencils, some making short statements others are far more ornate. And then their are the blockbusters, colourful spray-painted pieces that dominate whole walls. Plenty to see and take in.
As I work my way around it occurs to me that this is a battleground, a fight for space. On the one hand are those with skill needing a ‘canvas’ upon which to create their art, and on the other the simple ‘taggers’, laying down their scrawl wherever they can, often with no respect for the art in place.
Its easy to see that this gallery is continually evolving. New creations just muscle in, there is no order, its every man or spray can for himself. This is the appeal of the place and I can see that a one-off visit will not be enough to truly understand what its all about.
As for the artists, their talent and creativity is on display and an endless stream of visitors stroll these lanes and many others around Melbourne viewing their creations.
In an earlier post I featured Marcus.
Without question the young lad can handle a spray can. I watched as he confidently created detail where none existed, considered his next move and applied his colours with care. It may be a generational thing but giant tags unfortunately mean nothing to me. Having said that I’m guessing this is an apprenticeship for him, one more step on the road to bigger things.
Hopefully you can get a feel for the atmosphere of the Hosier Lane from these images.