Old places, new faces

I spent a couple of weeks in Melbourne with family over the Christmas/New Year period and one of the things that I love to do (and miss) is hang out with my sister. There are the things we girls traditionally do – shopping, manipedis and generally hanging out over coffee (and I was reminded once again that Melbourne has the best coffee in the world) – and then there are the moments of ‘inspiration’ subject to how we are feeling at the time.

We were off to partake in a musical favourite of mine, Grease. I know every word and every song (having played Frenchie in our high school production) so I was looking forward to an afternoon of energetic A-Wop-Boppa-Looma-A-Wop-Bam-Boom-ing. And it was on the way to the theatre that I stumbled across a distinctly different face of Melbourne.

Hosier Lane is a cut through between Flinders Street and Flinders Lane alongside the Forum Theatre. It is an unexpected riot of vibrant colour and expression in the midst of the area’s architectural melting pot of gothic (St Paul’s Cathedral), Moorish Revival (Forum theatre), French Renaissance (Flinders Street Station) and contemporary (Federation Square) styles. I could not stop myself from whipping out my phone in an attempt – let’s face it, these things are never as good ‘on film’ – to capture its brilliance.

Hosier Lane 1

We made our way along the alley, the air littered with ‘ooohs’, ‘aaahs’ and the subtle snap of selfies. My head swivelled touristically from side to side to admire each urban canvas and as I meandered along the cobbles with the other Sunday strollers, what struck me most was the how vividly the character of each of Hosier’s painted residents had been brought to life.

Hosier Lane 2

Are any of you old enough to remember this young lady from The Wacky Races

Hosier Lane 3

…or youthful enough to know this ‘lovable’ pair from Monsters Inc.?

Hosier Lane 4

Hosier Lane 5

I have been told that shoes hanging from a light indicates where one can score a fix…or is this just an urban myth?

Hosier Lane 6

I would not like to meet this dude in a darkened alley, alone or otherwise…

Hosier Lane 7

…although the location nearby of Ganesha, the remover of obstacles, could be considered fortuitous.

Hosier Lane 8

And last but certainly not least, a look skyward evoked the spirit of Australia’s indigenous past.

Hosier Lane 9

Street art continues its emergence as the next ‘big thing’ and a quick google on the way home from the theatre yielded both a list of sites to visit and the hows and wherefores of getting your particular expression of self into Melbourne’s urban spaces.

Unfortunately, we did not get to any of the others during my sojourn Down Under but it has inspired me to look for even more of this in London having browsed Brixton’s backstreets last year. And it would appear – according to a range of stuff-to-do sources that drop into my Inbox on a fairly regular basis – that East London is the current jewel in this city’s urban art crown.

So stay tuned…Shoreditch, here I come!

6 thoughts on “Old places, new faces

  1. Pingback: My favourite things: Festive films | Gidday from the UK

  2. Pingback: I f street art ruled the world | Gidday from the UK

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