Melbourne Gets New Coat / Australian Street Art

One of Melbourne’s iconic graffiti lanes was given a dramatic makeover on Sunday, but it only lasted 45 minutes.

Artist Adrian Doyle used 150 litres of a single colour of paint to cover all the existing graffiti in Rutledge Lane, off Hosier Lane.

A team helped him paint the lane after receiving permission from Melbourne City Council.

Doyle created the single colour, which he calls “empty-nursery blue”, to represent his past.

He said he also wanted to make a new canvas for other street artists.

“The whole laneway looked like it was from a different planet. Every single thing was blue. The rubbish bins, the milk crates, everything,” he said.

“It (the lane) was just trashed and I wanted to make it all one colour, and as soon as it was finished, it could be retrashed again. It’s really ephemeral.”

Doyle says the lane only stayed blue for 45 minutes.

“As soon as I got all my photos they (other artists) were all in there with their cans going crazy. It was like a fresh new canvas for them,” he said.

Doyle says Melbourne is supposed to be number one for street art.

“Haters are going to hate. Painters are going to paint. I didn’t mean to offend anyone,” he said.

“It wasn’t my ambition but sometimes in order to move things forward you’ve got to be a little bit controversial.”

Melbourne Mayor Robert Doyle says it was a deliberate idea to give Rutledge Lane a blank canvas for emerging artists.

“That really is the lane where our next generation of artists will learn their craft and learn the culture of street art and the respect that goes with it,” he said.

“Hosier Lane though is the highest expression of street art in Melbourne and has to remain that gallery space for our street artists.”

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