Walking to Work

Melbourne, Inner East


fortyfivedownstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

Exhibition Dates: 11 - 22 September, 2012


Map of Melbourne's Inner East plus ptg thumbnails No 2 - Everything Under $30 No 8 - Grey St Fountain No 9 - Queen, Smith St No 7 - Cumulus No 6 - Studio Fitzroy No 3 - Art Does Belong No 4 - No-Uturn, Bridge Rd No 1 - Goschs Paddock No 5 - Powlett St East Melbourne Ptg No 1 - Goschs Paddock Ptg No 3 - Art Does Belong Ptg No 9 - Grey St Fountain Ptg No 2 - Everything Under $30 Ptg No 4 - No-Uturn, Bridge Rd Ptg No 5 - Powlett St East Melbourne Ptg No 7 - Cumulus Ptg No 6 - Studio Fitzroy

These paintings document parts of Melbourne's inner east: It's my everyday, that's the 'why'. Most scenes are from the daily walk to and from the studio. I worked from photographs taken en route between November 2010 and January 2011. Each work, I revisited the place pretty much daily, checking and understanding the details as necessary. The aim: to show those scenes exactly as they were at that moment of capture. I kept pretty strict faith with the 'what and where', so what you see is in close agreement with the facts on the day. Between those facts, however, my familiarity, my relationship to these places seeped in.

James Yuncken, July 2012

1. Gosch's Paddock, morning of 30 January 2011
Acrylic on board, 2012
38 x 116 cm

These days Gosch's Paddock is a training ground for elite sports. The view: half way along the path that cuts diagonally across; behind us, Collingwood's practice oval where the players can glimpse their Colosseum though the trees.

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2. Everything Under $30, Bridge Rd, late afternoon of 30th December, 2010
Acrylic On Board, 2011
45 x 43.5 cm

Bridge Road passed its peak as a retail strip before the GFC. These days 'SALE' and 'For Lease' signs are on the increase. The view: below Lennox St, eastwards. The new future here is large apartment buildings - note the scaffolding.

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3. Art Does Belong, Lt Smith St, Fitzroy, afternoon of 20th December 2010
Acrylic On Board, 2011
40 x 40 cm

Melbourne's graffitied lanes attract tourists, local and international: subject of books. In Little Smith graffiti appear, often soon overwritten: fate of these, just off Gertrude St. The claws drip with paint in the great outdoor museum of the concrete jungle.

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4. No U-turn, Bridge Rd, evening of 25th January, 2011
Acrylic on board, 2012
84 x 112 cm

The view: three poles west of Punt, south side. This painting contains so much information about here and now, right there on its surface, that explanation seems like labouring the point. Decide for yourself.

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5. Powlett St East Melbourne afternoon of 20th November 2010
Acrylic on board, 2011
33 x 35 cm

This house, noted by some for its beautiful brickwork, is an oasis. Beauty, Tranquillity, Luxury, Peace: a fantasy of escape from the frantic rush around that most us feel of our lives are. Enough for me that it fulfils that fantasy.

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6. Studio, Fitzroy, afternoon of 20th December, 2010
Acrylic on board, 2011
35 x 30 cm

My studio, above drab grey cement render and paling fences topped with barbed wire, is a hidden retreat, a place of peace and solitude where the quiet industry of collating all the noise takes place.

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7. Cumulus morning of 23rd November 2010
Acrylic on board, 2011
60 x 60 cm

On Flinders Lane, above fortyfivedownstairs, Cumulus is one of very, very many reasons Melbourne is, thankfully, no longer the city of 1950's and '60's that I grew up in. Right now, and in here, we could be living in a Golden Age in this city's history.

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8. Fountain, Fitzroy Gardens afternoon of 21st December 2010
Acrylic on board, 2012
42 x 110 cm

Grey Street fountain, 1863: once had a job cleaning it. Beautiful? Well, not ugly: ok, maybe. 1968, survived demolition: popular support; understandable: Victorian; quaint. Do not demolish! Do not repeat. At the time, not running; water restrictions.

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9. Queen - Smith St, afternoon of 26th January, 2011
Acrylic on board, 2012
73 x 112 cm

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