Ballarat laneway tribute to Rowland S Howard

ST KILDA might miss out on a laneway named after Rowland S Howard, but Ballarat has gained an unofficial one.

Local artist Casey Tosh has just put the finishing touches on a previously bare and rundown laneway off Webster Street he has turned into a memorial for the Australian punk rocker.

St Kilda laneway tribute rejected by authorities

The mural features caricatures of Howard, who died in 2009, and his former band mate Nick Cave.

With Howard's bands The Young Charlatans, The Boys Next Door and The Birthday Party all deriving from St Kilda, Tosh said the mural was heavily influenced by the bayside suburb.

"The lane itself doesn't have a name so I've unofficially called it Rowland Stuart Howard Lane," he said.

"I knew about the laneway in St Kilda that was going to be renamed but I wanted people to also get an idea of who Howard was as a person.

"He was so popular overseas but in Australia there is so little understanding of him as a character and his influence on musicians."

"I've unofficially called it Rowland Stuart Howard Lane"

Tosh decided to take on the project a couple of months ago, having eyed-off the laneway for many years.

"I've lived in the area for quite some time and I've done a few other public art projects but I wanted something large scale to work on," he said.

Music promoter Nick Haines, who had been pushing for the St Kilda laneway, said it was "fantastic" that someone from Ballarat had decided to celebrate the iconic guitarist.


Casey Tosh in "Rowland Stuart Howard Lane". PICTURE: ADAM TRAFFORD

"To get recognition out of the inner city like that, it just shows Rowland appealed to everyone. I'm really chuffed about it," he said. 

Local music publicist Lou Ridsdale said it was exciting to discover the laneway and to know there were others who appreciated Howard's work.

"You can tell that the mural was done with a lot of love," she said.

"Rowland was so incredibly humble and I know he would be thinking it hilarious that people are paying all this attention to him."

Port Philip Council approved the renaming of a laneway between Eildon Road and Jackson Street in St Kilda to "Rowland S Howard Lane" earlier this year.

However the name change was not approved by the Office of Geographic Names, which prefers one-word street names.

The council is now seeking the views of Howard's family to name the lane "Howard Lane". 

Ballarat artist Casey Tosh in the unnamed laneway he's dubbed "Rowland Stuart Howard Lane". PICTURE: ADAM TRAFFORD

Ballarat artist Casey Tosh in the unnamed laneway he's dubbed "Rowland Stuart Howard Lane". PICTURE: ADAM TRAFFORD

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