For its fifth consecutive year, Reclaim the Lane returned to Rooke Lane kicking off National Youth Week in Devonport on Friday 8 April, 3–5 pm to an audience of over 500 people. The free event transformed Rooke Lane into a vibrant celebration of youth arts and music for all ages to enjoy.
Launceston artist, Josh Foley was this year’s resident artist and he created a new work in the lane. Visitors throughout the day saw Josh in action as he created the work on the concrete retaining wall between Rooke Lane and Payne Avenue car park, completing it at 5 pm.
“Using abstract painterly motifs I will seek to imbue the area with colour, life, vitality and movement which are all celebrations of youth. As young people grow they seek to leave their mark and brighten up the world around them; by eradicating the drab grey of the concrete the work aims to represent this. The coloured motifs will also dance across the background in a musical way which eludes to the importance music has in the life of a young person as they seek to define themselves among their peers.” – Josh Foley
Reclaim the Lane also featured various art-making activities including a collective colouring-in zone by Devonport Regional Gallery, Red Turtle photo booth, a henna tattoo artist and face painter, performances by Slipstream Circus, The Sketchbook Project exhibition and interactive stalls by youth service providers Headspace, Working it out, Mi Fellowship and Youth, Family and Community Connections.
Live music by young local performers entertained audiences throughout the event with performances by students at Geneva Christian College, Zac Weeks, Patrick Murphy, Josh Tomé and Molly O’Brien.
Windows of local laneway businesses were also transformed by young people as they expressed their views and goals for the future, responding to ‘Before I die I want to…’, ‘What I like in Devonport’ and ‘What I’d like to change about Devonport’.
Reclaim the Lane is organised by Devonport Regional Gallery and its young members, the Droogs, in partnership with Devonport City Council and Youth, Family and Community Connections. The event is jointly funded by the Department of Premier and Cabinet National Youth Week funding program and Devonport City Council.
Photographer: Kelly Slater