Words – J Forsyth

Photos – Julia Howland and J Forsyth

2012 is over and 2013 has arrived.  Summer in Melbourne is pretty quiet (on the art and party front), and for peeps like me, it’s my least favourite time in the city.  Lucky for me, I’ve ‘gone country’ and headed to the Pen-lo or the Ninch or as it is scientifically known the ‘Mornington Peninsula’.  Never fear though, I have sent a message up the bush telegraph to Melbourne Arts Club contributors, so as soon as the New Year’s brain fog lifts, we’ll be back in action with regular reviews and updates!

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Anyway, as it’s quiet, I thought that this would be a great opportunity to give Melbourne Arts Club readers a run down on what some of the big boys of the Melbourne art world are doing this summer, who is open and who has good airconditioning.  P.S – hanging out under the roofs of the big wigs is guilt free because everyone else is closed, you’re not a sell-out, famous artists need you too!

NGV International and NGV Ian Potter Centre are two of the best places to see a variety of art in Melbourne. If you are confused as it which one is which, NGV International is the one with the water fall window on St Kilda Road and Ian Potter Centre is at Federation Square. With around twenty different exhibitions and programs currently running between the two locations, there is plenty to see.

The most notable is Jeff Wall’s Photographs at NGV Ian Potter.  This is an awesome opportunity to see the Canadian born artist’s work in Melbourne, spanning from 1978 – 2010 and running until 3 March 2013, $15/$12.

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ACCA – Australian Centre of Contemporary Art is showing ‘Desire Lines’ until 3 March 2013. This exhibition includes work by more than 30 artists including Samuel Beckett, Bruce Nauman, Lawrence Weiner as well as a whole swag of artists new to Melbourne audiences.

‘A Short History of Isms’ is a lecture series running at ACCA this summer letting you know about all your favourite isms, impressionism, constructivism, surrealism – the list goes on.  For some reason, I am saying each ism in my head in a kiwi accent.  Weird?

Heidi Museum of Modern Art, located just off the Eastern Freeway in Bulleen is showing ‘Louise Bourgeois: Late Works’.  This is the first exhibition in Australia to survey the work of this profoundly important artist since her death in 2010. Running until 11 March 2013, $14/$12 entry to the museum. Sweeten the trip with a coffee and at Café Vue.

Monash Gallery of  Art, located on Furntree Gully Road, Wheelers Hill (just off the Monash Freway), has two summer exhibitions running.  Ingeborg Tyssen: Photographs and Pat Brassington: It’s just a heartbeat away.  Both exhibitions run until 3 February 2013, free entry.

If you want to make a day of it, keep heading down the Monash and you’ll find yourself at McClelland Sculpture Park and Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery.

Currently showing at McClelland Sculpture Park; Janet Laurence: The Alchemical Garden of Desire until 3 March 2013.  The 2012 Mary and Lou Senini Student Art Award for Textiles until 13 January 2013 and ‘Aftermath: Landscape Photographs by John Gollings from Black Saturday, showing until 3 March.

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MPRG – Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, is showing The Art of Science: Remarkable Natural History Illustrations from Museum Victoria and Robert Wade: The Call of the Coast Vision Splendid: Landscapes of Phillip Island and Western Port until 17 February.  Entry to MPRG is only $4 so it’s almost criminal not to visit.

Now, if you  have country family you forgot to visit over Christmas, Bendigo and Ballarat have excellent galleries that you can break up the dreaded visit with, definitely worth the drive even if you just want to get out of the city for a few hours.

Ballarat Art Gallery is currently showing 44th Ballarat National Photographic Exhibition until 20 January 2013.  This exhibition comprises of a selection of 160 prints, selected by a team of seven judges from more than 800 photographs submitted for the Ballarat National Photographic Competition. Entry is free.

 Bendigo Art Gallery regularly plays host to amazing and world renowned exhibitions that don’t make it to Melbourne.  Currently showing is Melbourne’s own Bill Henson until 24 February 2013. I am not sure what the cost is but if you have driven that far, what is a few extra bucks ey?

Now I have got that off my chest, stay tuned for what is coming up in the smaller spaces around Melbourne. For more information on each gallery, check out their websites.