Monday, 21 March 2011

Melbourne's public art Scene

Having returned from Melbourne exploring all that it has to offer I thought the least I could do was to report on my findings. The arts scene here is vey vibrant and exiting and I suggest that if you get the chance to visit you could do well to try out a few of these places:

ACCA(Australian Centre for Contemporary Art) : This wonderful space is currently showing new11 which is curated by Hannah Matthews, whom I had the pleasure to meet. Her enthusiasm for the arts & talent for selecting great emerging art makes this exhibition a joy. It is not so much a show to see, but a show to experience. With works like Mark Hilton's deeply disturbing carved bones & lead-like wall sculpture with hanging stereotypes, to the fabulous Automated Colour Field 2011 by Rebecca Baumann. This work moves as the colours flip randomly like the numbers on a flip calendar or clock. The wall of colour is mesmerising & very calming, relishing every subtle tone.I could have stood watching it all day...
(Oh & the cake in the cafe next door is to die for!)

CCP (Centre for Contemporary Photography): Sarah Ryan's lenticular images were on display. They resembled graphite drawings at first glance. The highlight for me though was Lyndal Walker's images of women dressing in La Toilette D'une Femme. Her work takes on a traditionally male gaze & turns it back in on itself to reveal the reality, not the fantasy of the woman in her private quarters (let's keep this old fashioned) getting ready to go out. This ritualistic event is familiar to women everywhere, but often given more titillating connotations by male artists, painters especially. I have written about this series in more depth, so keep your eyes peeled for it.

NGV (National Gallery of Victoria): May sound like a stuffy place but far from it. The building itself is majestic with a cascade of water running down its huge arched window & the variety of works on display means that there is something for everyone. I enjoyed the place so much I went three times to see it all. On my second visit I met up with Susan van Wyk who has just curated the beautiful exhibition Deep Water. This wonderful exhibition curated from the NGV's collection is a wonderful example of how to put a themed collection together & worth a look. One of my favourite photography books, Waterproof: Water in Photography since 1852 does just the same thing on a greater scale. It combines all images water related into a huge volume of exquisite works. In Deep Water the show is split into 2 sections, 'Fresh Water' & 'Salt Water'. A beautiful separation to hinge the 2 together seamlessly. The catalogue is wonderful also. It is the kind of exhibition to set the mind to pursue other notions of photography, with such varied works on display all linked through a simple yet moving theme. Well worth seeing if you happen to be in Melbourne.

Photo Credits:

Narelle AUTIO
Untitled 2000
from The seventh wave series 1999-2000
gelatin silver photograph
90.0 x 134.1 cm (image); 99.2 x 143.9 cm (sheet)
ed. 1/15
Purchased with funds arranged by Loti Smorgon for Contemporary Australian Photography, 2001
© Narelle Autio, 2001

Rebecca Baumann
Automated Colour Field 2011
Courtesy the artist
Photograph:© Andrew Curtis


©Laura Noble
Portrait of Lyndal Walker March 2011

©Lyndal Walker

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