Exploring the lanes of Melbourne

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Is this a colourful, eye catching example of urban art or a shambolic, unruly mess? It’s up to you to decide!

Graffiti, Melbourne, Australia, Hosier Lane, The Lanes,
A back alley, just off Hosier Lane in Melbourne. A graffitied mess or thing of beauty? You decide!

I took this photograph earlier this week when I made a brief visit to Melbourne in Australia (why was in Australia? Click here or here to find out more). It’s of a back alley just off Hosier Lane in the centre of the city.

There are several streets, or lanes, in the city where graffiti artists go wild. If what I’m told is correct, the artists do this with permission from the city authorities.

Hosier Lane was the most heavily graffitied example I came across. When I visited on Wednesday, there was a constant stream of tourists posing for photographs and even a Chinese wedding party having pictures taken with the graffiti as a backdrop.

While exploring the lane, I ducked down a side street and was presented with this. As you can see, barely a centimetre is untouched. Even the bins and road have been painted.

Quote of the week has to go to my daughter, Helen. I was going through my photos with her and came across this one. Her response on seeing the picture was an absolute classic; “But it looks like Croydon daddy.”

Alas, I have never seen anything quite like this in that much maligned South London suburb! There is a desperate shortage of palm tress, no kookaburra’s and considerably less sunshine in Croydon.

Enough about the Cronx, as I have heard it called. I’ll come back to the original question; unruly, mess or eye catching urban art? Please leave a comment expressing your opinion.



34 thoughts on “Exploring the lanes of Melbourne”

  1. I’m going with mess. I genuinely like graffiti but this just seems like people tagging anything they can. It doesn’t seem to show off their talents. I can see why it’s a hit with tourists though. I hope you enjoyed your trip.

    1. I understand why you think that. Alas, I love it. Wouldn’t call it art, but it was such an amazing sight.

  2. There is something powerfully urban about it that I actually like. In the absence of natural beauty people have marked the place in their own way, yes it looks like chaos, but order is boring and chaos is about life


  3. It’s definitely a mess I’m afraid. Graffiti can be artistic, but I feel this is just a colourful mess. I can imagine tourists wanting their photos taken there, but mainly because tourists are a strange bunch!


  4. It’s definitely a mess. It’s worse than some of the London overground views of tags all over the railway edges. It’s too much. If it was more of an organised piece of artwork with defined pictures it’d be more arty

    1. Oh dear. We’ll have to agree to disagree! I struggle with saying it is art but it was wonderful to be immersed in all that colour.

  5. there is so much of it, it almost doesn’t look real – like an artists impression of what grafitti should look like

    I’m going with art. I do love how the bins have been incorporated, and amongst the mass graffiti there is some kind of symmetry going on.
    Crazy but I can’t take my eyes off it!

    1. I’ll be honest, I struggle with describing this particular scene as art….but it is so colourful I love it!

  6. I’m going with a mess too but a fascinating photo opp. I’ve read your post about your six days in Australia. I hope you had a great time. The heart Australian flag that your daughter is really sweet. 🙂

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