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Editions

Bringing some rawness to Docklands

01 Feb 2017

Bringing some rawness to Docklands Image

By Sunny Liu

Melbourne-based street artist Adrian Doyle is planning to bring some unique character to Docklands by relocating his Blender Studio to Harbour Town.

Despite being unimpressed by Docklands’ windiness, Mr Doyle says he sees it as a blank canvas for more “raw” art.

“There is something about Docklands that makes me want to spend more time here,” he said. “There are so many areas I want to work on.”

The studio has been on Franklin St since 2001 and is one of the largest in Melbourne. But its current warehouse-turned studio space will be affected by the major redevelopment of the Queen Victoria Market.

“Whatever the CBD is missing out, Docklands and Harbour Town are smart enough to jump on board,” Mr Doyle said.

The Blender Studio is home to 20 artists from around Melbourne.

Apart from individual mural projects, the studio also organises workshops, street art tours and a weekly artist market.

Mr Doyle says they also work with the City of Melbourne to redesign some of the laneways in the CBD.

“We want to put more art up around Docklands. We want to bring some more culture and funniness to lighten up Docklands.”

“It takes a while for an area to build its own street art culture and we want to create a unique street art profile for Docklands,” Mr Doyle said.

Mr Doyle says he was very grateful for the opportunity to tap into Docklands’ art scene and hopes more local businesses can offer a platform for street artists to bring more “rawness” to this fast-evolving suburb.

“Not every wall needs to be crystal clean and the murals show the history of a place. The culture will naturally grow once we move the artists to Docklands,” he said.

“There has been increasingly more interest in Docklands, including the 3D art exhibition and the wheel. I think Docklands can become an important hub of Melbourne’s street art.”

Mr Doyle has been renowned for his bold and sometimes controversial artworks around Melbourne.

He was commissioned to do some murals at the basement of Docklands apartment The Quays.

But the two murals, one depicting a Christ figure crucified on a telegraph pole and the other a crying little girl, offended some of the residents in the building, who accused him of being sacrilegious.

“My work tends to be controversial and people’s opinions are often divided. But as an artist, it’s important not to compromise too much and we need to show the true side of art,” he said.

His famous pieces also include a 49-metre long wall mural outside Crown, which was unveiled by the Lord Mayor Robert Doyle in 2012.

“What we are doing is not the old American graffiti. Melbourne has its unique street art that has become great tourist attractions,” he said. “I think street art is the most important movement in Melbourne’s art history.”

Mr Doyle is calling for Docklands’ local businesses and community to suggest locations for new projects.

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