Melbourne's public spaces provide a unique and dynamic realm for the expression of its culture and identity. The City of Melbourne's Laneway Commissions scheme has been bringing the laneways of the Central Business District to life since 2001.
The Laneway Commissions were born out of the City's Public Art Program and seek to capture collective and individual urban consciousness using Melbourne's unique laneway topography as a canvas. The Commissions are produced annually and engage a wide variety of contemporary artistic approaches. Artists involved in the projects select their own site, themes and media to convey their ideas. The works are popular with those living and working in the area, as well as passers-by and art enthusiasts. Creating these temporary displays adds to the layers of history in laneway spaces, which themselves form part of urban memory.
The City of Melbourne has a proud history of public art with its streets and laneways providing the backdrop for a wide range of heritage and contemporary artworks. While the streets of Melbourne are well known and used, many of the laneways are known only to the intrepid explorer or those businesses and residents located close by.
From July 2008, six site-specific artworks will emerge gradually, activating the city's laneways. Scattered around the bustling heart of the city, the artworks will generate multiple layers of interaction, ranging from a casual glance to prolonged intimate engagement.
Artists are also now invited to submit proposals for a contemporary artwork, project or event to form part of the Laneway Commissions 2009 season. The City of Melbourne is seeking concepts from artists for a series of innovative and inspiring artworks which will engage the public utilising this distinct urban setting.
For more details see http://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/info.cfm?top=75&pg=3133