Beneath the big mural opposite the Abruzzo Club on Lygon Street, there’s a social history museum called the Foundling Archive. The entrance is via an alley off the club’s carpark, and it’s hidden in an old bottle factory – one of the oldest buildings in the area.
390a Lygon Street
Brunswick East VIC 3057
A social history museum and community organisation, The Foundling Archive commissioned their Ned Kelly mural from the “grandfather of Melbourne Street Art” HAHA, known for the iconic Ned Kelly faces all over Melbourne. By the front door, the artwork in the alley is by hard-hitting Saudi-Born Australian artist Ms. Saffaa, an inspiring, stimulating artist working in a gritty and highly political field. Commissioning artwork is just one part of what The Foundling Archive does to provide a platform from which people might share their perspectives.
The Foundling Archive aims to build on our understanding of Australian culture, identity and experience by providing opportunities for anyone’s perspective to be documented, conserved and shared. Through the simple acts of talking and listening, personal experience becomes an important tool for understanding Australian society, past and present. It allows us to forge new connections between people and across ethnic, socioeconomic, gender and age divides. By focusing on the individual, every individual becomes an important thread, deserving of being woven into the telling and interpreting of Australian culture.
It’s fitting that this hidden gem plays host to Gallie, who is less well known in Melbourne and Victoria than other parts of the world. Touring Europe and Ireland to fantastic crowds, Melbourne is beginning to catch on, with Gallie playing a headline show at the Spotted Mallard, and filling the Memo Music Hall for the launch of his last album Occuquan River.
A prolific artist, Gallie’s songs are strong and emotive. Sometimes is well suited for two voices – a conversation between characters, arguing now, but knowing it’ll turn out ok. It’s comforting, probably because of Gallie’s delivery…
“It’s alright, it’s alright.”
‘Just Can’t Let Things Go’
by Dr Sean Millar
Gallie’s choice of cover again uses a reassuring male voice. Written by Dublin artist Sean Millar, it reminds me of Clint Eastwood and the hard, working-class men of my grandparent’s generation.
‘The Rocking Chair’
By contrast, my own song is about growing old independently, alone and being relatively happy with that scenario, and comes very much from my perspective. When I perform The Rocking Chair I see a strong older woman, who hasn’t lived rich but is content with her lot.