Byron’s Lawson Lane is the exit for two drive-in bottleshops – it’s full of bins and is dominated by the concrete rear of the former Nomads backpacker building.
In a strictly utilitarian and commercial world, this service lane would remain plain ugly.
However, it’s about to be permanently transformed into Elysium, the brainchild of both Byron-based consultancy Creative Road Art Projects and Fullerton Creative, a local design practice that works on residential and urban landscape projects.
The team say it could be the world’s first ‘curated’ laneway, meaning that the ‘group devised a colour palette’ for the lane and concepts to ‘create a continuous immersive pedestrian experience’.
Artists Christina Waterson, Colleen DaRosa, Kellie O’Dempsey, Sonia van de Haar, Jumbo, Danny Gretcher, Harley Graham and Max Beaur will contribute in a group led by Rebecca Townsend from Creative Road and local designer Jane Fullerton from Fullerton Creative. A local group supporting women at risk of homelessness, Shift Project Byron Bay, is gaining art skills through the project.
‘Is Byron still creative? Has it become too elitist? Is it still for everyone? These are questions we have tried to answer in this project’, said local architect Harley Graham at the fundraising launch at Stone & Wood last Wednesday.
‘This laneway is for ordinary people, and we want to create an inspiring place for them’, he said.
Seed-funding has been provided by Council, and mayor Simon Richardson is urging businesses and private philanthropists to contribute as much as possible to reach the $100,000 target.
At present fundraising is about halfway there.
Principal sponsor is BASE (formerly Nomads), and other major contributors so far are Stone & Wood Brewing, Resene Paints (who are donating all the paint), The Byron Echo, Shogun Signs and Feros Arcade as well as PM3 and Harley Graham Architects.
Creative Road and Fullerton Creative are donating their services.
For more visit www.creativeroad.com.au/project/elysium/.