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Balcombe Place

Balcombe Place, previously Bull Alley, runs south off Little Collins Street at its junction with Elizabeth Street. The entry to Balcombe Place is flanked by the two entrances to The Block: Block Arcade and Block Place. Unsurprisingly then, Balcombe Place is essentially a service lane for the shops fronting the Block. In 2004, Balcombe Place hosted a City of Melbourne's Laneway Commission, an installation called 'Surrogate' by artist Charles Robb. 'Surrogate' was an imposing bronze monument to Robert Hoddle, the architect of Melbourne's central grid plan who did not envision the hundreds of laneways and rights-of-way that emerged within his blocks. Surrounded by the garbage bins and packing crates of Balcombe Place, 'Surrogate' was intended as 'a wry comment on our perceptions of traditional public monuments'.

Edwina Byrne

'Charles Robb, ‘Surrogate’', in Laneway Commissions 2004, City of Melbourne, 2004, http://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/info.cfm?top=75&pa=806&pa2=1519&pg=1748. Details