Graffiti: In the Eye of the Beholder

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Online: Street Art and Graffiti Words – The Ultimate Glossary

Watch video ⬆︎Union Lane graffiti in Melbourne's CBD

Street sign | Union Lane | Melbourne

Melbourne's CBD is littered with laneways. But not all laneways are access points for rubbish collection and waste disposal facilities.

The most interesting laneways are slathered in graffiti. Layer upon layer of graffiti. They are tourist magnets. They serve a functional purpose as pedestrian shortcuts between the major streets in the CBD. But their character changes when you stop to look, smell and listen.

As well as artwork, witty words, slogans, personal messages, objects and stickers placed above, over, under, sideways and down on the walls of the buildings that form the canyons of the laneways, there are the ever present gym shoes that have been thrown over metal pipes.

I can hear the graffiti snobs saying that graffiti is not artwork, it's a blight on the landscape. Do the expressions "In the eye of the beholder" and "Different strokes for different folks" mean anything?

Whatever you think, these are fascinating places. One laneway is even dedicated to heavy rockers, AC/DC. Not surprisingly, it's called AC/DC Lane.

Guided tours? Sure, you could take a guided tour of the laneways. It's more interesting to wander around the CBD and explore the laneways on your own. Be daring. Go on. Get out there.

And, yes, sometimes the laneways smell like garbage. Some say "Garbage"; I say "Ambience".

Online: Visit Melbourne | Destination Union Lane