Melbourne decided: the artist for QV Melbourne’s laneway is Merda

After a public call out, Melbourne has voted on four finalist artworks for QV Melbourne’s Artemis Lane, choosing Merda’s ‘MELBOURNE’ design as the stand out winner.

QV Melbourne, together with their resident street art curator Andrew Chew of No Vacancy Gallery, selected four finalists in the #ColourQV street art competition, commissioning each to draft a concept sketch of their proposed artwork for an iconic location in Artemis Lane. All four concept sketches were displayed online and via QV’s Facebook page. Over 2,000 Melburnians cast their vote to decide Merda as the winner.

If you’re from Australia’s street art capital, you have probably seen Merdas work. Highly influential in the formative years of Melbourne’s graffiti scene, Merda (Jay Rankine) was at the forefront of style innovation in Melbourne. Now 25 years on, his pieces continue to be lauded widely.

“QV was the original site of the Queen Victoria Hospital and the place of my birth so the obvious choice for me was to base the design around the word “MELBOURNE” and incorporate diagonal graphic elements to match the lines in the surrounding architecture. For a bit of fun I’ve included an optical circle for the letter “O” so the public can use it as a backdrop for the perfect photo opportunity,” says Jay Rankine (Merda).

Merda will complete his artwork from 10 October on the laneway wall between Russell Street and Meat Fish Wine, in QV’s Artemis Lane. Awarded a grand prize of $5,000, Merda will also be provided with all paint supplies and art materials to complete the artwork, spanning 15 metres in length x 2.4 metres in height. With over 40,000 people a day moving through QV, his artwork will catch the eyes of thousands of Melburnians every day.

Competition judge Andrew Chew curates No Vacancy Gallery on QV’s Jane Bell Lane, one of Melbourne’s first galleries to hold regular street art exhibitions. Andrew has curated street art exhibitions all over the world and has worked with Melbourne’s emerging and established street artists for over a decade.

“We have seen a big evolution in street art form and style over the last few years, which was made evident by the entrants this competition received. Our four diverse finalists each presented a unique concept for our wall. Mike Eleven, Loretta Lizzio, Cto and Merda represented one of the most eclectic mixes of Melbourne street artists in 2016.”

QV’s Regional Centre Manager, Lisa Fleming, commends the public choice.

“As the public vote has confirmed, Merda is one of Melbourne’s most respected street artists. We can’t wait to see his artwork’s powerful dynamics give Artemis Lane a new focus point, and create a new landmark at QV.”

For more information on the #ColourQV competition visit

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Worlds apart from other retail precincts in Melbourne, QV represents the quintessential Melbourne lifestyle. Intimate laneways in the urban precinct give visitors the freedom to wander and discover the eclectic mix of shops, cafes and restaurants at their own pace. QV is home to 120 retail stores including premium fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands.

Located in the central retail district of Melbourne’s CBD, QV Melbourne comprises an entire city block between Swanston, Lonsdale, Little Lonsdale and Russell Streets. The 24-hour precinct is home to Melbourne CBD’s largest Woolworths and Big W, Dan Murphy’s, Harvey Norman and Domayne, Officeworks and Platinum Fitness First, as well as two office towers, a five level retail shopping centre, two residential towers and basement car park.

QV is the redevelopment of Melbourne’s historic Queen Victoria Women’s Hospital site. In March 1846 Melbourne’s forefathers laid the foundation stone for the Princes Bridge and, as part of the same ceremony, a foundation stone was also laid at the Queen Victoria Women’s Hospital (at the time named Melbourne Hospital), making this area of great historical significance. The Queen Victoria Women’s Centre, at 210 Lonsdale Street, has remained untouched during the construction of QV, with the precinct working around the historic building to provide a wonderful contrast between old and new. QV’s principally open-air, pedestrian-only, laneway network provides a rich cultural link to the site’s history, with names carefully chosen to embrace the area’s heritage. The QV precinct is a block footprint of Robert Hoddle’s original plan of Melbourne.