Melbourne Now – art for the people at the NGV

melbourne+now 20 Melbourne Now   art for the people at the NGV

If you are in Melbourne and haven’t been to our National Gallery of Victoria (NGV)’s Melbourne Now exhibition, you should go as soon as possible.  It is amazing!  So much fun.  Great for kids.  I have been there four times and may go again.  That is the joy of no whopping entry fees (which the NGV usually charges for major exhibitions).  There is so much to see that one visit isn’t enough.  Nor are just a few photos.  I took heaps.
 

melbourne+now 21 Melbourne Now   art for the people at the NGV

The last visit was to the NGV Ian Potter in Fed Square.  We had hoped to go to a Hotham Street Ladies workshop but got the day wrong.  A shame as their work is amazing.  Look closely at the above sign and there is a lot of buttercream icing (frosting) involved.

Melbourne+Now+ +Hotham+Street+Ladies+Collage Melbourne Now   art for the people at the NGV

The same could be said of the top photo.  You might have thought it was an ordinary suburban scene.  Then you look closely and find that so much of the food and details are made of icing.  Those Frederick McCubbin pictures on the wall are painted with icing.  The cushions and flowers and beer labels and cigarette butts.

melbourne+now 19 Melbourne Now   art for the people at the NGV

However what I really love is the little details.  The card table at the end of the table to accommodate more people at the table than usual.  It is what we always had at large family dinners in my childhood.

melbourne+now 14 Melbourne Now   art for the people at the NGV

Likewise I love the lounge room with the crochet rug over the edge of the couch (made of icing).  And the little wood veneer coffee tables just like the ones we have at home.  I gather Picasso’s Weeping Woman (painted in icing) in the loungeroom is a joke about the picture being stolen in the 1980s.

Melbourne+Now+Various+Collage Melbourne Now   art for the people at the NGV

While the Hotham Street Ladies was my favourite of the exhibits, I love so much else in the exhibition that I can’t cover it all in this post.  I can say that it is a great way to delve a little deeper into Melbourne’s rich cultural tapestry. 

melbourne+now 22 Melbourne Now   art for the people at the NGV

Some of the exhibits were amazingly physical.  I loved this blue room.  Sylvia and I had lots of fun on the blue exercise balls.  I quite like that the windows of this exhibit look onto the street.

melbourne+now 23 Melbourne Now   art for the people at the NGV

As I mentioned above, the exhibition is lots of fun with kids.  Sylvia loved the colours of this artwork above.

2014 01 19+sylvia+at+melbourne+now Melbourne Now   art for the people at the NGV

Even more fun is this architectural exhibition.  On the shelf in front of Sylvia are little terracotta blocks.  The public is invited to create structures with them.  We had great fun with them.  I also liked seeing what others had done.

melbourne+now 25 Melbourne Now   art for the people at the NGV

I had to show this artwork to prove that my bedroom floor is actually a work of art.  I chatted to a gallery security man about whether we could touch the clothes.  I thought it might be an interactive dressing up activity.  Alas it was not!  He told me he had a map of the items and had to check they stayed there.

melbourne+now 27 Melbourne Now   art for the people at the NGV

The guard instead directed me to an area for kids which used recycled materials and found objects.  I particularly liked the wool noodles in the wok and the string of dried apricots.  We had fun in the sound tent.  Walking in barefeet and touching the strange metal shapes set off various music.

Melbourne+Now+Kids ++Collage Melbourne Now   art for the people at the NGV

I was reluctant to leave this section.  I just wanted to run my hand through the piles of wool.  E and Sylvia decided they wanted to go to a cafe in the Atrium at Fed Square for a coffee and ice cream.  I kept going.

melbourne+now+ +design+wall Melbourne Now   art for the people at the NGV

The Design Wall fascinated me.  It makes ordinary objects into an interesting piece of art.  Cisterns, brushes, crumpler bags, wetsuits, outdoor chairs, footballs, eskies, even those green handles you hang on to in the tram to stop you flying into someone’s lap when the tram stops suddenly. 

melbourne+now+ +Tony+Garifalakis+ +Mutually+Assured+Destruction Melbourne Now   art for the people at the NGV

I liked this work with its denim gloominess.  I especially liked the bottom left one.

melbourne+now+ +Gorgeina+Cue+ +The+Aleph Melbourne Now   art for the people at the NGV

A photo does not do this piece of artwork justice.  “The Aleph” is a small piece that is designed as an optical illustion.  Quite beautiful.  Far more to my taste than the disturbing gothic room of stuffed animals on serving platters among chandeliers and old masters paintings.

Melbourne+Now+ +David+Wadelton%253A+Icons+of+Suburbia Melbourne Now   art for the people at the NGV

I found David Wadelton: Icons of Suburbia very moving.  His black and white pictures of Melbourne milk bars is a fine record of a disappearing icon of our city.  The addresses of each milk bar was given and it was fun to look up ones in streets that I know.

Melbourne+now+ +penny+byrne+ +iProtest+ Melbourne Now   art for the people at the NGV

At first sight this iProtest seems a kitsch collection of figurines.  Look closer and you see that there are symbols of war and strife in our world. 

melbourne+now 5 Melbourne Now   art for the people at the NGV

Most of my visits have been to the NGV on St Kilda Road.  Sylvia and her cousin Dash had lots of fun playing about on this coloured entrance.  I was entranced to watch this woman doing handstands on it.

melbourne+now+by+rory+hydes Melbourne Now   art for the people at the NGV

Inside in the forecourt is this pod of computers in a Bin Dome of ikea bins sprouting plants.  I wish I had time to discuss how this reflects modern life.  I don’t.  But feel free to write a 1000 word essay on the topic.

melbourne+now Melbourne Now   art for the people at the NGV

I am rather fond of Patrick Pound’s Gallery of Air.  It is a room that reminds me of an old fashioned museum except it has a theme.  Every item, whether painting, LP album or Georgette Heyer novel has something to do with Air.  He calls it a “wunderkammer”.  It was one of the first things I saw in Melbourne Now when my mum and I visited briefly when we had some time to kill.

melbourne+now 6 Melbourne Now   art for the people at the NGV

The second time I visited, Sylvia and I went to see a workshop by the Choir of Hard Knocks.  She spent most of it colouring in.  I quite enjoyed it.

melbourne+now+jewellery Melbourne Now   art for the people at the NGV

Sylvia was more interested in the jewellery making area.  It gave kids, big and small, a choice of tags, some threading and some colouring in.  On the way was an exhibition of what others had done.

Melbourne+Now 7 Melbourne Now   art for the people at the NGV

When my mum and I first went we saw the Trugo room and decided my nephew Dash would love it.  The game originated among railway workers and consists of trying to hit a roll with a mallet to hit some chimes.  The kids had lots of fun with it when we came here with Dash, Chris and Fergal.

melbourne+now+ +jon+campbell+ +DUNNO+%2528T.+towels%2529 Melbourne Now   art for the people at the NGV

One of my favourite exhibits was this wall of tea towels.  Jon Campbell’s DUNNO (T. towels)  My mother in law would have loved it.  She collected tea towels and helped me embrace my tea towels.  These tea towels on the wall had signs over them that reflected Australian culture.  Hurrah for kitsch kitchenalia!

melbourne+now 10 Melbourne Now   art for the people at the NGV

The exhibition was full of the unexpected around each corner.  This dance floor was lots of fun.  The great thing about it was that you had to go across it to continue moving through the exhibition so everyone had to step out!

2013 12 30+melbourne+now Melbourne Now   art for the people at the NGV

I couldn’t help notice how many people were close up to this artwork.  Otherwise I might have walked past.  Up close it has incredible detail (see below) based on the artist’s life.  So many exhibits had lots of detail that I could have spent a lot of time with each alone.  Hence the need for repeated visits.

melbourne+now 13 Melbourne Now   art for the people at the NGV

Below is a wall where an attendant gave out stickers of bird silhouettes to add to the wall.  And there were lots of other fascinating works of art that I haven’t included here.  A Laneways video, an architectural exhibition, a table of slides, cards with locals’ vision for Melbourne, a visual map of Melbourne, a waving cat and a table of disturbing stuffed animals in silver serving dishes.

2013 12 30+ Melbourne Now   art for the people at the NGV

It is a wonderful exhibition, showcasing some of the great art of Melbourne and encouraging you to look at the city in a different way.

Melbourne Now
National Gallery of Victoria (NGV)
Ian Potter gallery and St Kilda Rd gallery
Melbourne city
22 Nov 2013 – 23 March 2014
www.ngv.vic.gov.au/melbournenow

Green Gourmet Giraffe