Wandering around the laneways west of Elizabeth St. has not been a regular feature of my exploration of Melbourne’s art galleries and street art. After all most of the art galleries are east of Elizabeth St. along Flinders Lane as are most of the laneways containing street art, or so I thought.
I was looking for Brood Box, a new gallery on Rankins Lane, “off Lt Bourke Street between Queen and Elizabeth Streets”, which narrowed it down to a couple of laneways. At first I thought that Brood Box, might have been a renamed Mahoneys Gallery, but I found that Mahoneys had become a framing service in the corner of another restaurant that fill these laneways. A strange combination – the meal was so good that I think I’ll have it framed.
There are other galleries and art dealers in the area but most are by appointment only. In Warburton Lane I saw there is a new gallery space but again by appointment only.
On my walk I also saw a lot of street art, paste-ups by Miso and others, aerosol art by the Everfresh crew and others, and lots of street art sculpture. (See my entry on Street Art Sculpture.)
Rankins Lane has enough street art to draw attention to it. Brood Box is a big space with a trailer parked inside selling coffee and cakes, combining an art gallery with a coffee shop. The coffee-trailer has been painted by the ubiquitous Drew Funk. There are tables and chairs but also enough wall space for a contemporary art gallery. I was looking for Brood Box because Joseph Flynn was exhibiting. I had interviewed Joe for my entry on Fine Art Education and I wanted to see how his career was progressing with this exhibition.
Joseph Flynn’s exhibition, “Cultures” is two series of drawings on large sheets of paper. I found my self steeping back across the laneway and looking through the entrance of Brood Box to get far enough back to taken in one of the drawings as a drawing of a face. Up close the intensity of the lines that form the pictures look like circuit diagrams, cultures of bacteria or star-maps. There are many star and psychedelic references in the images and titles of this main series of drawings. The second series of drawings are more colourful with outline drawings of faces overlayed on top of one another. Flynn shows a great deal of confidence and skill in the execution of these large images.
I saw a few other exhibitions on my walk around the city but Cultures at Brood Box was the best that I saw that day.