Laneway Places & Artist-Run Spaces
From Dame Edna Place to Duckboard Lane
Melbourne has a lot of laneways, alleys, arcades and 'little' streets bearing the name of their 'bigger' siblings. Running off the city's wider streets and lending some organised chaos to its otherwise regular grid pattern, laneways are wonderful places to explore.
A great reference, Melbourne's Streets and Lanes, has been produced by the Royal Historical Society of Victoria and is available free from the society's offices in A'Beckett Street (named after Victoria's first chief justice, Sir William A'Beckett).
Since 2001, the city's laneways have provided a backdrop to innovative arts projects. As you walk along Campbell Arcade, an underpass off Degraves Street leading to Flinders Street Railway Station, you'll see a variety of artworks displayed in wall cases organised by the Platform Artists Group .
Flinders Lane is the heart of Melbourne's commercial gallery scene, and houses Australia's largest concentration of commercial art galleries. Craft Victoria , also on Flinders Lane, is the epicentre of contemporary craft and design representing craftspeople from all over Victoria.
A visit to artist-run spaces throughout the city and surrounding areas and in regional Victoria allows access to local young, emerging and established artists exhibiting in spaces which provide them with an alternative to the more expensive commercial gallery locations. In the city itself, spaces include Blindside in the fabulous Nicholas Building, West Space , Loop , and TCB art inc .
Around inner Melbourne there's 69 Smith Street Gallery and Conical Inc in Fitzroy, Hell Gallery in Richmond, Off the Kerb in Collingwood and C3 Contemporary Art Space in Abbotsford.
Further afield in regional Victoria are the Cowwarr Art Space and arc Yinnar in Gippsland, and Allan's Walk Artist Run Space in Bendigo.