If you've taken the throughway behind St Paul's Cathedral to Flinders Lane lately, you might have noticed that it looks a little different. Perched alongside teeny cafe Little King, Chapter House Lane is now the proud proprietor of a public contemporary art space, housed in a large window. Exhibiting a new exhibition each month, passersby have been entranced by a colourful string installation courtesy of Chaco Kato, various paintings shows (thanks to Justin Lee Williams, Matlok Griffiths and Jelena Telecki), the large-scale photographs of Rowan Conroy and the arcane ceramic creatures of Pia Murphy.
Co-director Amy Rudder says Chapter House Lane aims to inspire curiosity and engage pedestrians as they get from A to B, interjecting in the paths of unsuspecting viewers. Showing work that is accessible to a wide audience, they are keen to pique the interest of those who are not typical gallery-goers. By taking down the gallery walls, they see an opportunity to give everyone a taste of quality contemporary art.
Chapter House Lane is the third public art space to open in the Flinders Street area. To the west is the long-standing Platform, which shows artwork in the Degraves Street Subway and to the east is Hosier Lane, renowned for graffiti and street art. Each of these interventions activates a public space and invites social engagement, with Chapter House Lane positioning itself as the fine art antithesis of Hosier Lane and showing work from more established artists than those at Platform.
Chapter House Lane allows artists to exhibit at no cost and takes no commission on the sale of artworks. This worthy venture has relied thus far on generous local support and donations, and came to fruition through the hard work of the Chapter House team. Check their website for details of upcoming shows and openings.