Emblazoned with colourful murals and street art, inner-city Melbourne’s laneways are world famous. And now Camberwell is getting in on the act, with one of its busiest laneways recently transformed into an outdoor masterpiece by Melbourne artist, Stephen Baker.

This is the first time that Baker—best known for his eye-catching ‘Pool Parade’ mural on the façade of Fitzroy Pool—has worked in Boroondara. He was commissioned as part of a ground-breaking Council initiative to deter graffiti and make Camberwell’s laneways safer and more interesting for pedestrians and shoppers.

Baker’s ‘canvas’ was the as-yet unnamed lane located between Camberwell’s popular Sunday Market and Prospect Hill Road.

Over the course of a week, the artist created a striking two-part mural in the key pedestrian thoroughfare, themed around the Sunday Market and Camberwell’s vibrant retail scene. Entitled ‘Eye of the Beholder’, the mural was supported with funding of $23,400 from the Victorian Government’s Community Crime Prevention Program to deter illegal graffiti and tagging in the laneway.

With his bold choice of colours and instantly recognisable, hieroglyphic-inspired style, Baker singlehandedly transformed the laneway from drab to fab. Not surprisingly, the response from local traders and the community has been glowing.

Cool Camberwell

And Stephen Baker’s public artwork is just the start. Camberwell’s cool quota is set to skyrocket with further laneway transformations in the works.

Several other lanes, all within walking distance of each other, are earmarked for their own overhauls. Features include bluestone paving, improved lighting, greenery and custom-made lightboxes showcasing up-and-coming artists.

As Melbourne’s famed CBD laneways have shown, improvements such as these not only result in more appealing, safer thoroughfares for residents and visitors, but also reduce the incidence of graffiti.

That’s what we call a win-win situation.

Arts and culture