Canvas :: Laneway Art

October 5th 2011


Those of you who are regular readers of this review (so my mum) will know that I'll generally find an exhibition in a gallery, but this week I went for something a little different.

Laneway Art is an installation project in the annual Art and About Festival, an initiative by Sydneysiders aiming to turn the city into a canvas. Today you’ll often hear that there isn’t enough art in Sydney, that culture is not dripping from every building’s pore. Laneway Art tries to change that, with these mini installation pieces all across Sydney’s forgotten laneways.

Let’s start with the most famous and my favourite – Magda Sayeg’s piece in Sussex Lane. Sayeg is the founder of the guerrilla knitting movement – which is pretty much knitting over anything (sort of like tagging in graffiti, but with yarn). Sayeg has knitted up the lane’s flight of stairs with brightly coloured wool. I just love the idea of ‘yarnbombing’ things –it makes me think of a bikie gang of grandmas trolling the city for hookers and cocaine (or more like knitting needles and colour schemes).

I then cycled past ‘Peri(pheral) Scopes’ by Heidi Axelsen, Hugo Moline and Adriano Pupilli in Skittle Lane. What looks like a series of bright yellow periscopes are hanging down the sides of the lane. You look inside and it’s like a CCTV of other suburbs across Sydney, sort of like an accidental Big Brother. Next was Rebar’s ‘Bubbleway’, in Bulletin Place. There were heaps of exercise balls wrapped together to make seats for passers by. It was a great way to rethink the city, a place to just relax for a minute, eating an apple and soaking up the atmosphere.

The great thing about these laneways installations is that they’re tiny pockets of amusement in your lunch break or your bike ride or whatever. It’s a two minute injection of culture that gets you away from the crush of skyscrapers and deafening traffic of the city. I loved laneway art, without the pretention sometimes attached to galleries. Its aim is to make the city a more culturally diverse and engaging place, and it definitely worked for me.

What: Laneway Art @ Art and About

Where: Laneways throughout Sydney

When: Until January 31 2012

How much: Free


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