Despite my love of art and frequent visits to Sydney, I’d never been inside the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia. It’d been on my list of things ‘to do’ and I’d wandered past its impressive home on The Rocks many times but going inside had always eluded me.
This time, I was determined.
I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to do a post about one of my favourite galleries in Melbourne. In the heart of Collingwood, Off the Kerb Gallery & Studios exhibits up and coming local and international artists. I’ve seen several of their exhibitions since I moved to Melbourne but their current is by far my favourite. Even based on its subject matter alone: cats (yes, I am a mad cat person).
A lazy Saturday afternoon lead me to Fitzroy’s Sutton Gallery. Gallery hopping is one of my favourite solo activities, wandering through galleries to view the exhibitions without any knowledge of who the artist is or what’s on.
Catherine Bell’s The Remains of the Day and Helga Grove’s Suspended Animation were closing that day – fortunate timing for me! Not for you, so apologies. You’ll have to do some googling.
Out of the two I found Groves’ work the most meditative and absorbing while Bell’s was far quirkier. Both exhibitions were based around geography with each artist using unique techniques to represent their landscapes. Groves’ basing her work on Artic map lichen growing on granite rocks that appeared as topographical images while Bell sculpted her landscapes out of florist’s foam.
Helga Groves Suspended Animation
“Groves’ polygon shaped paintings on wood are a tribute to the shaped canvases as hybrids of painting and sculpture that grew out of 1960s abstraction. Through turning the congruent shapes on their axis, cyclic rotation suggests movement. These shifts are also marked through the repetition of the hand-drawn mark in layers as an infinite reversioning of nature’s primal template. In these and other works presented in Suspended Animation, Groves reflects on the significance of the ancient and adaptive forms of plant life that have survived in the most rugged and hostile of terrains familiar to her. Used by climatologists to ascertain the age of rock and glacial deposits, they provide further resonant ground for her ongoing investigation into topographical form.” Sutton Gallery
If Saturday is anything to go by I’m in for an excellent season. After a hectic week at work I spent most of the day in bed reading and watching TV, leaving its comfy confines only for snacks, bathroom breaks and more snacks.
In case my mum’s reading I did leave the house twice. Once to buy my snacks and a copy of The Saturday Paper (sold out!) and the other to see Jackson Slattery’ exhibition Tunisian Parquetry at Sutton Gallery. This was my first visit to the gallery and I was pretty pleased to find it only around the corner from my house – mostly as this allowed me to stay in my pyjamas for as long as possible.
Sutton Gallery is a gorgeous little gallery located on Brunswick Street in Fitzroy and at lunchtime my friends and I were the only visitors.
Jackson Slattery is a Melbourne-born, Montreal-based artist, with a growing reputation for his incredibly detailed, photo-realist watercolours. Sutton Gallery have an excellent artist profile you can read here.
Welcome to Part 2 of Melbourne Now. Hold on to your laptop/keyboard, we’re about to get arty.
We began, as any good outing should, by playing a game of table tennis in the NGV foyer.
It’s not pictured below as I was having too much fun (sorry/not sorry) but the tables are just off to the left.
Lights, camera and over 300,000 Melbournians. Welcome to White Night Melbourne 2014.
My feet are still sore.
I know I know, I’m a little late to Melbourne Now.
The NGV exhibition has been on since November last year and is spread across NGV International (the main gallery) and the Ian Potter Centre: Australia (the smaller gallery at Federation Square). We started at the Ian Potter Centre as it was a really hot day and closer to our meeting point (laziness always prevails).
Melbourne Now, as the name suggests, celebrates “the latest art, architecture, design, performance and cultural practice to reflect the complex creative landscape of Melbourne.”
Interactive installations are a feature of the exhibition and are dotted throughout many of the Ian Potter Centre’s permanent exhibitions, providing a striking contrast to Australiana landscapes and portraits.