Hosier Lane


Melbourne’s CBD is full of gorgeous little laneways filled with creative shops of all kinds, cafes and art.

One of my “things to do” when visiting Melbourne in October (aside from attending the Problogger conference and the mandatory shopping) was to indulge in Melbourne’s arty offerings. I got to googling and found that Hosier Lane was a “must see”. And so I saw.

Mum and I navigated our way to Hosier Lane on foot in the freezing, wet weather. Ok, ok so it wasn’t THAT cold but it was colder than we’d left in Adelaide and felt like winter had descended in force again. (Seems strange writing this as I sit in 44C heat…)

Hosier Lane is a kaleidoscope of images and colour.

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At the very first glance it looked and felt chaotic, happy and free. There was a mish-mash of images pasted, painted and seemingly randomly layered – all fighting each other for position and prominence. I couldn’t get to my iPhone quick enough! I loved that there was this freedom to cover every inch of infrastructure within the space with creativity from a variety of artists.

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I clicked and snapped, hungrily devouring the lane way through the lens of my iPhone. I was taking in the image as a whole, the sum of its parts.

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Then images began to stand out individually.

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This closer inspection of the individual pieces (as you know, I like to get up close) revealed another, unexpected emotion. Through the forest of images an undertone of sadness that filtered through. Pictorial messages of desperation, wry hope and unhappiness. A negativity. Cynicism. Anger. Betrayal.

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I wondered about they symbolism of the art depicting the women behind bars.

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“When politicians go home at night they like to pull up a few weeds so they feel they’ve accomplished something positive for the day”

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Now I may be wrong, but that was what I felt. Mum felt it too. ┬áIt wasn’t just the pictures themselves but a vibe, I can’t explain it fully.

I noticed that there was a youth outreach facility, called the Living Room, located in the Lane.

The Living Room is a health service which provides free healthcare and support to youth who have complex healthcare needs and are homeless or at risk of becoming so, or disadvantaged in other ways.

I understand that the laneway is constantly being painted and repainted by a variety of artists over time. It’s the nature of street or urban art – it’s not always there permanently like an art gallery’s main pieces but more like an evolving exhibition. So I wondered if the art on the walls was a reflection of those who frequented this location for support. This might explain the undertone of sadness or bitterness that I felt. I wondered what it would take to make the art reflect more cheerfulness.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for freedom of expression of views, climate, and self and don’t wish to change that aspect at all. I did wish that I could change something in the equation though so that the feeling projected by the art was naturally more cheerful – not for viewers but for the artists themselves.

Then there was this.

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A tribute to Jill Meagher who was raped and murdered in September 2012 by some sicko, who had committed violent crimes of a similar nature previously, and was still allowed to roam free until he did this.

I read that this tribute is no longer there, I thought it might have lasted longer but am glad I got to see it when it was around.

Finally, mainly for my amusement (both at the time and now)… Enjoy!

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If you’ve ever in Melbourne I highly recommend you visit the Hosier Lane (and all the other lane way surprises Melbourne has to offer)!

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5 thoughts on “Hosier Lane

  1. You have on e again captured the exact feelings I had at the time with your words – although very enjoyable being there ( and it WAS freezing that day), it was depressing too.

  2. I’ve passed by that lane so many times and never even noticed. I must visit next time I am in Melb.
    PS Is that your mum in the last photo? lol

  3. Another reason you may have felt sad in that place (if you believe in things like this) is that it is said to be haunted. I was in the lane on a ghost tour with a friend visiting from the UK. At night, it’s even more depressing and quite unnerving. There has been reports of sightings of spirits in the lane.
    Also, it’s actually not too safe at night, as that’s when most of the artists are there painting, and it can be a little intimidating.
    The art itself though is really worth seeing.

    • Wow, I didn’t know that! I need to know more! And I probably also need to go back at night (just for an adventure, you know). I might take George with me given he hasn’t seen it and is bigger than me, lol!

      You’re right, the art really is worth seeing close up and live.

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