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Street Art - February 2018

05 Feb 2018

Street Art - February 2018 Image

Docklands will just take time

By Adrian Doyle

As much as some people believe in Docklands (and many people don’t), there has to be some acknowledgment in the failure of the Docklands to deliver to the public’s expectation.

I was once a naysayer. I thought Docklands was hijacked by people who didn’t love Melbourne and only exploited it for their own interests and to be richer.

I know that being rich seems cool if you’re poor, but if you are rich you probably know that it’s not that simple. People with money will never understand the pleasure of being poor, whilst the poor will never understand the tragedy of being rich.

Anyway, Docklands has changed. I first started noticing the change at Docklands many years ago when I worked on the mural at the Sebel in NewQuay and that’s when I started to change my thoughts about Docklands and its possibilities.

There was a big discussion before we moved the Blender Studios to Docklands and many people were quite upset and believed that it would never be the same again. This has just not been true. The Blender is now better than it’s ever been – as are the artists, the art and the entire Blender community.

And the more people that visit the studio and Docklands, the more people are slowly changing the way they view it.

Anyway, what I really want to say is that building credibility takes time. Credibility cannot be bought and Docklands’ success will take time and patience. Projects like the Sculpture Art Trail and the Docklands Art Precinct, the Blender artist market and the Sunday market will continue to help build cred.

I believe it’s in the arts where Docklands’ future lies and it will take time and patience. Money can’t buy respect and respect is not for sale (it is earned). It’s bold and risky projects like the Docklands Art Precinct and Blender Studios which gives an area an activation and layers of history, memories and culture.

Makatron just painted a giant octopus near the Bolte Bridge. It’s huge and space-altering and cool and I spoke to him at some house party recently and he said: “it was a great project to work on, it is huge.”

It seems the only way to make an art work in Docklands or to change the space is to be commissioned to do so. I am guilty of this. I have done more commissioned work in Docklands than anybody. But, we need to ask ourselves what does a “lived-in” Docklands look like?

We need the grit, the grime, the urban edge that the city has, that until now, has eluded Docklands.

I believe Docklands is at the crossroads and we can choose to stay clean and sterile, which will eventually work purely because of population and city demand. Or we can take control now and do what should have been done at the beginning and work to make an amazing, creative and diverse Docklands that is the dashboard of Melbourne.

We in Docklands have the opportunity to control what Docklands becomes both socially and creatively.

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