It’s no Degraves Street. It doesn’t have a name and it’s easy to drive straight past it. But as laneways go, the narrow backstreet between Mountfield and Howard Streets in Brunswick is a welcoming one, bright, spacious and lined with potted plants instead of the customary junk – and it’ll soon host a community-driven public-art project.
The laneway is now the Brunswick Laneway Gallery, a pop-up art space, with artworks plastered across the corrugated iron fences.
“It was pretty dumpy a while ago,” says Gary Gross, the artist behind the project. “We’ve been cleaning it up with a dozen or so residents. Then we got discussing ways of bringing the community together using art as a medium. There’s this dead space right between all our houses.” The gallery’s inaugural exhibition is Out Back, a series of Gross’ photographs of abandoned, burnt-out cars that litter the sides of Central Australia’s highways. “They appear in the landscape quite randomly from Coober Pedy to Uluru,” says Gross. “They’re decaying and being slowly consumed by the environment, and I can’t say entirely how they got there.”
The photographs themselves, pasted up in the same way local gig posters are, will also fade, decay and be gradually reclaimed by the environment. “Once we’ve done it, it’s out of our control,” says co-founder and Gross’ partner, Jenni Hosking. “That’s the beauty of public art. And it’s encouraging people to see laneways as something other than wasted space.”
Out Back launches at 3pm on Saturday May 16 in the laneway between Mountfield and Howard Streets, Brunswick, and will run for as long as the glue holds out.