Hardware Lane artists event poster
Artists event at Hardware Lane, Melbourne
Circa 1980
Three colour screen print
76 x 51 centimeters
Collection State Library of Victoria

The old commercial area around Hardware Lane and Little Bourke Street in the central business district of Melbourne was once home to quite a number of artists studios and this poster publicised one amongst a group of events organised to draw that community together. These events covered performance art, music and film and this poster was for a band night on the rooftop of the shared studio I worked in. This part of the Melbourne CBD was usually deserted after office hours hence bands playing loud amplified music that echoed of the surrounding towers didn't result in a complaint.

The paucity of written information on the poster, including the absence of a starting time, is revealing of the audience it addressed, they simply knew when to show up and what to expect. Likewise the relevance of the yellow moonface head gazing at the viewer is unimportant, as long as it looked cool.

The poster was printed on a porous blue-grey paper given to me by a friend whose father had sold his printing business. The paper was probably already decades old when I printed on it and the poster had a second life when one of the bands re-used it for their gigs. When I offered the last poster I owned to the Victorian State Library, I drew the librarians' attention to the brittle pulp based paper and the rodent chewed corner, suggesting it would be a conservation nightmare, but they were undaunted and happy to accept it into their collection. The reason, I suspect, is because little of the history of bohemian Melbourne has survived.

The background of the graphics