Chancery Lane mural walls fill up, leaving Bendigo artists to ask: 'Where next?'

COLOURED IN: Chris Duffy, aka Hackney Hockney, shows off his latest pop art mural in Chancery Lane. The walkway is almost full of street art, leaving creatives to look elsewhere for space. Picture: NONI HYETT
COLOURED IN: Chris Duffy, aka Hackney Hockney, shows off his latest pop art mural in Chancery Lane. The walkway is almost full of street art, leaving creatives to look elsewhere for space. Picture: NONI HYETT

When street artist Chris Duffy put the finishing touches on his latest Chancery Lane mural yesterday, a collage of Australian pop icons Dame Edna Everage, Kylie Minogue and Kath and Kim character Sharon Strezlecki, it left just one wall space empty inside the Bendigo thoroughfare.

It is eight years since the alleyway’s first public artwork was commissioned and although murals are expected to be renewed biennially, artists are already looking outside the precinct for opportunities to ply their trade.

Perhaps better known by his pseudonym Hackney Hockney, Mr Duffy said his sights were now set on Pennyweight Walk, another CBD area set aside for the display of street art. 

“There should be more,” he argued, believing Bendigo could use regional rival Benalla and its 48-large scale murals as a model for growth.

“The world seems to be embracing them, and I think they speak to our caveman instinct to tell stories on the wall.” 

Mr Dimples, another prominent muralist whose paintings and pasteups are commonplace in Bendigo, hoped different precincts in Bendigo could develop their own sense of style. 

“In Melbourne, some lanes tend to be known for a certain thing: some are known for paste-ups, some are know for freehand spraying, some are known for stencils,” he said.

The Bendigo resident this week completed a private commission in Pyramid Hill and said the street art craze was spreading to outlying towns, largely fuelled by the west Victorian silo art phenomenon.

But there was still space in Bendigo, he contended, and like Mr Duffy, he viewed Pennyweight Walk’s walls as fair game.

LAST ONE: The final space for art in the laneway will go to the winner of Bike Bendigo commission. They'll earn $2500 for the alfresco piece. Picture: NONI HYETT

LAST ONE: The final space for art in the laneway will go to the winner of Bike Bendigo commission. They'll earn $2500 for the alfresco piece. Picture: NONI HYETT

City of Greater Bendigo Maree Tonkin assured artists there was no shortage of forthcoming opportunities to express themselves around town.  

The recipient of a street art commission for one of Bendigo Bank’s walls will soon be announced.  

The bank and council also have plans to rejuvenate window space inside the Fountain Court shopping precinct by inviting artists to exhibit. 

And there is still room for one more piece of work inside Chancery Lane, a $2500 commission from community cycling organisation Bike Bendigo.

The wall will also contain bicycle racks. 

The developments comes one year after Bendigo Art Gallery installed an eight-metre Forever Marilyn statue in the Rosalind Park piazza, and during Hall of Mirrors’ stay in the adjacent lawn.

Ms Tonkin said all works – from on-loan sculpture to community murals – was important to Bendigo.  

There’s room for all of them in the ecosystem – it’s not a matter of one being better, or lesser, than the other.”