Got an hour or two to kill and want to get a feeling of some real Melbourne subculture? Check out the lane ways in Melbourne’s CBD for a constantly evolving gallery of art and culture.
Just grab a coffee and a laneways map (available free at the tourist information center in Federation Square) and take a stroll through some amazing art.
Melbourne has a long history of street art. Inspiration born from New York artists created a boom at the turn of the millennium and despite mixed responses from government and officials, Melbourne has won a place as one of the street art capitals of the world.
The government has declared several dedicated street art zones where murals, paste ups and stencils can thrive, nurturing a subculture of street artists and for better or worse becoming some of Melbourne’s most popular tourist attractions.
Despite their growing popularity and therefore quantity of tourists, the freedom of self-expression in these works coupled with the gritty setting creates a unique experience.
There is something about the nature of this kind of discovery. Finding hidden art works tucked in corners and down alleyways creates an empathy with the artist that is missing from works presented in sterile gallery formats.
Here are a few of my favorite lanes to get you started:
Remember this gallery is constantly changing, the art wears away and is painted over, no two visits will be the same. That’s part of what makes the experience so awesome.
Whether you are an art lover, a tourist, or just have an hour or so to kill, wandering through the laneways in Melbourne's CBD is a lovely way to spend an afternoon. You are guaranteed to find an artistic treasure to delight you.