David Risstrom - Greens Melbourne City Councillor 1999-2004
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ACHIEVEMENT: Laneways filled with innovative art provide a breathing space for ideas, making them a place of surprise, rather than a dead-end.

TARGET DATE: December 2003 PROGRESS: Achieved, but always able to be expanded.

DESCRIPTION: In 1999 when I was Chair of the Environment, Community and Cultural Development Committee I was looking for novel ways to respond to the possibilities for expanding arts and culture in the City. I was also dealing with the problems of an increasingly chaotic drug abuse in the city and people's feeling that the laneways of the City were an unsafe place to be.

It occurred to me that both issues had common solutions. I proposed that the City look to establish programs that commission young people and arts students to create installations in the City's laneways that would make laneways a surprise and an adventure to visit, rather than an abandoned space. I suggested that sensors attached to lights could act both as a safety measure and also have great effect to illuminate art works when light was low. The Laneways Project and others emerged from these ideas and have now evolved into projects providing arts spaces all over the City.

I'll endeavour to provide information about new lanes as they emerge, and subject to my photographic skills, provide images of them on this site.

Mark Riley, a constituent, has suggested that we identify Living Laneways by placing a small sign at the entrance of lanes containing art. I have suggested this to the Council, and will report back on developments.

Wednesday 17 September 2003: Melbourne City Council has confirmed it intends to introduce signs as suggested by Mark Riley above.

FURTHER INFORMATION: Today, 14 January 2003, I was fortunate to be at the opening of Catalyst Launch, a joint laneways art project of Jesuit Social Services, the City of Melbourne and VicHealth. Here is some of the great artwork on display in Knox Lane, north of Little Lonsdale St. between Swanston and Elizabeth Sts.


Knox Lane Installation Knox Lane Installation Melissa's Piece - Knox Lane Damien's Piece - Knox Lane
Installation Laneway Melissa's Piece Damian's Piece
Catalyst Launch - Knox Lane Catalyst Launch - Knox Lane Knox Lane Installation Artist at Catalyst Launch - Knox Lane
Catalyst Launch laneway action Music, And Art under Surveillance? An artist introducing her work
Knox Lane Installation Knox Lane Installation Knox Lane Installation  
Art, Art, And more Art …  



Cool Green Tip Of The Week -

23 April 2017: Only those who decline to scramble up the career ladder are interesting as human beings. Nothing is more boring than a man with a career: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918 -1956.

This site is written, authorised and maintained by David Risstrom , 377 Little Bourke St. Melbourne, Australiaand had more than 1,003,082 visitors and 3,052,017 hits when updated on Sun 23 April 2017.