Hosier Lane represents an iconic laneway filled with street art of various artists. It is a staple in the world of Melbourne street art and graffiti and over the years layers upon layers have been sprayed on the walls. Walking through this laneway there are so many different artworks that it is almost hard to capture it all at once. Each time I have visited Hosier Lane I find new things that marvel me whether they are newly painted or I overlooked them before. The next three stops are all within Hosier Lane.
The Melbourne-based artist known as Adnate constructed this 23-meter high mural of an indigenous boy. This piece is the first of its kind on Hosier Lane and represents a moving narrative. Adnate was given access this blank canvas, which has been out of reach for street artists for years. The smooth structure and lack of windows allowed Adnate to pay extreme attention to detail and create an extremely realistic piece of work. This piece is a remarkable representation of indigenous culture. Melbourne’s CBD is a significant site for indigenous culture and history, and Adnate is able to portray a stronger message through this street art and activate the minds of the public. Additionally this portrait overlooks Birrarung Marr, which is a significant aboriginal site. Adnate’s roots began with graffiti, but his ability to spray paint portraits with this amount of detail and skill have allowed him to create realist street art. He effectively elevates graffiti art above the level of letter writing, as his subject matter and their subsequent status are the intent of his portraits. Adnate’s piece on Hosier Lane represents the notion that “realist artwork is based upon an implicit or explicit assumption that it is possible to communicate a reality beyond the artistic means of representation” (Millner). He depicts a historical reality through his portrait and is able to empower the disempowered by representing human beings as part of a larger social system and also allowing the general public to give more appreciation and a higher regard to street art. Everyone can appreciate the talent behind this artwork, but not everyone can appreciate graffiti tags, and Adnate’s piece is particularly powerful because it sends a deeper message to the community in addition to being a spectacular mural.