Melbourne Museum SmartBar – Giveaway!

SmartBar_Enews_1

Melbourne Museum is opening up next Thursday night 20 August for its popular adults-only Smartbar, with a theme for this event being Get Stuffed!

Spend a night exploring the scientific and historic background of taxidermy with the museum’s experts.

Image 30833 Title Felis silvestris, Wild Cat  mounted mammal specimen Source: Museum Victoria / Photographer: Heath Warwick

Image 30833
Title Felis silvestris, Wild Cat mounted mammal specimen
Source: Museum Victoria / Photographer: Heath Warwick

This adults-only event is stuffed with demos, drinks, talks and a dash of digital media that will make you think differently about taxidermy – an art form that takes years to learn and even longer to master. You’ll also be able to learn why Museums still collect in the 21st century and explore shifting attitudes towards taxidermy.

Food and drink is available for purchase on the night, or walk to nearby Fitzroy and check out some great eateries.

Tickets are $18 for adults, $16 concession/MV members – buy tickets here or call 131102 and join the Facebook event here.

Giveaway! Thanks to Melbourne Museum I have 3 x double passes to give away to attend Smartbar on Thursday 20 August 6-9:30pm.

To enter, follow the instructions below and the three winners will be drawn randomly after the competition closes midnight Monday 17 August. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

HOT: Masterpieces from the Hermitage: The Legacy of Catherine the Great, NGV International, 180 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne

hermitage ngv

Melbourne Winter Masterpieces have been bringing some fantastic international exhibitions to brighten Melbourne’s winters since 2004. This year the National Gallery of Victoria is hosting Masterpieces from the Hermitage: The Legacy of Catherine the Great, which features over 400 selected pieces from the collection of one of the world’s largest, oldest and most-visited museums in the world, the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg.

hermitage ngv

hermitage ngv

This exhibition has been described as the greatest exhibition the Hermitage  has undertaken abroad and it is part of their 250 anniversary celebrations. I got a sneak peek today at the media preview. Melbourne, you’re in for a treat!

hermitage ngv

The works on show at the NGV include paintings from masters such as Velasquez, Rembrandt, Rubens, Titian and Van Dyk to drawings, decorative arts, Catherine’s personal effects and paintings from the prized Walpole collection, all bought and collected by Catherine over 3 decades as a patron and innovator of the arts in the 18th century.

hermitage ngv

It was through the collection of these works and Catherine the Great’s exceptional vision that the Hermitage was founded.

hermitage ngv

While the big names will no doubt be the drawcards, my favourite moments in the whole exhibition included…

hermitage ngv

Francesco Francia’s drawing of Sacrifice with Bacchus, with its lush textures and detail achieved with only brown ink and a pen….

hermitage ngv

hermitage ngv

…the intense blue of the Sevres porcelain in the Cameo Service commissioned by Catherine and…

hermitage ngv

…the detail in the mirror of the thirty-two piece Chinese toilet service which was a wedding gift to Catherine.

hermitage ngv

The exhibition design is also notable, with lush hues, architectural details and antique furniture inspired by the grandeur of the Hermitage’s rooms.

hermitage ngv

I particularly loved the parquetry flooring and the Chinese wallpaper, which covered even the electrical switches!

hermitage ngv

hermitage ngv

Make time to watch the immersive video that transports you to wintery Russia and takes you inside the through the gallery.

hermitage ngv

The exhibition is not just about admiring excellent pieces of Western Art. Mikhail Dedinkin, the Deputy Head of the Department of Western European Art at the State Hermitage Museum, described it best ‘The Hermitage helps people find their own history and contains some of the greatest examples of the genius of mankind. The collection spans all centuries, all countries and all countries under one roof.’

Masterpieces from the Hermitage: The Legacy of Catherine the Great is an opportunity to see but a part of the Hermitage’s grand collection right on our doorstep. Don’t miss it!


 

Masterpieces from the Hermitage: The Legacy of Catherine the Great, NGV International, 180 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne

Friday 31 July – Sunday 8 November 2015  10am-5pm

Tickets on sale from ngv.vic.gov.au

Adult $26 | Concession $22.50 | Child $10 |

Family (2 adults, 3 children) $65

 

HOT: Open House: Tromarama for Kids, NGV International, 180 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne

tromarama

Open House: Tromarama for Kids is NGV International’s newest children’s gallery exhibition which isn’t just child’s play. Indonesian contemporary art collective Tromarama (Febie Babyrose, Herbert Hans and Ruddy Hatumena), have truly built a house of fun for young and old alike!

Open House: Tromarama for Kids

tromarama

The fantastical space features five fully furnished rooms – a kitchen, dining room, courtyard, bedroom and bathroom. The whole house comes to life and there are lots of unexpected surprises to explore.

tromarama

tromarama

Start off in the bathroom and very comfy pillow-lined bedroom, where you can learn to make simple stop motion animation movies.

tromarama

Just take some toys from the bathtub, find a backdrop you like, use the touch screens to take photos  and off you go!

tromarama

Move into the lush garden with the flower wall which reminded me of the Raf Simons’ extravagant first collection for Christian Dior. Pity the flowers aren’t real!

tromarama

In the garden you’ll find that pink flamingos talk and cheeky garden gnomes chat back with your voice!

tromarama

The kitchen is the most restful space, with stacks of ceramic crockery (thankfully stuck together and to the benches) and it shows a delightful animation of dancing plates and cups.

tromarama

The highlight of the interactive experiences has got to be the disco dance floor. Look up and you’ll see a complete dining room setting, which means you’re dancing on the ceiling!

tromarama

Like Darren Sylvester’s dance floor for the Melbourne Now exhibition this room will definitely be a drawcard.

tromarama

Open House: Tromarama for Kids is a must-see on your next to visit the gallery and it will be sure to delight and surprise kids and adults alike. Come out and play!

Open House: Tromarama for Kids, NGV International, 180 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne

Saturday 23 May – Sunday 18 Oct

Open 10am–5pm

Closed Tuesday

Free entry

Brick Man Experience – The Complete Collection by Ryan McNaught – Giveaway!

logo

Are you a LEGO family? I am! So I’m excited that for the first time ever Ryan “Brick Man” McNaught, one of only twelve LEGO Certified Professionals in the world and the only one in the Southern Hemisphere, will exhibit his remarkable collection of over 50 original LEGO works at the Brick Man Experience – The Complete Collection by Ryan McNaught.

heli

The exhibition includes all of Ryan’s works, such as the 4m long “Elvis” Erikson Aircrane Helicopter and the 250,000 brick “Love Boat”, plus behind the scenes stories, original drawings and sketches. I’ve seen some of Ryan’s pieces on display at Brickvention and they’re spectacular!

In addition to Ryan’s pieces, for the first time anywhere in the world works from other LEGO Certified professionals will be displayed, based around the “Transport” theme from their native country.

There will also be a chance for visitors can participate in building their own masterpiece!

Brick Man Experience – The Complete Collection by Ryan McNaught

Melbourne, The Exhibition Hall, Crown Conference Centre, Tue 31 Mar – Sun 12 Apr

Sydney, Sydney Town Hall (Lower) Sat 27 Jun – Sun 12 Jul

Tickets via brickmanexperience.com.au

Giveaway! Thanks to Brick Man Experience – The Complete Collection by Ryan McNaught I have 3 double passes (2 adults valued at $69.80 ) to give away for any session during the Melbourne season Tue 31 Mar – Sun 12 Apr.

To win comment below with which session (date and time) you’d like to attend. The competition closes midnight Monday 30 March winners will be selected randomly. Good luck!

 

HOT: Shifting Gear: Design, Innovation and the Australian Car, NGV Australia, Federation Square

ngv car exhibition

ngv car exhibition
ngv car exhibition
NGV Australia’s newest temporary exhibition is a first for an Australian art institution – a look at Australia’s history of car design and engineering called ‘Shifting Gear: Design, Innovation and the Australian Car’.

ngv car exhibition

The exhibition is particularly well-timed given the 2015 Formula 1 Grand Prix starts on Thursday 12 March and the fact that Australia’s automobile industry is frankly, going down the tube. Now is the time to capture the stories, archives and history of the heyday of the Australian car industry and provide some scholarly analysis and discussion on Australia’s contribution to global knowledge and design.

ngv car exhibition

If, like me, you’re not really into cars (bikes are more my thing) then ‘Shifting Gear: Design, Innovation and the Australian Car’ is still an interesting visit. I was invited to a special preview of the exhibition along with the launch of NGV’s new contemporary design and architecture strategy and programs.

ngv car exhibition

ngv car exhibition

The twenty-three cars on show in the gallery foyer and the ticketed exhibition range from vehicles from the 19th century through to now. They have all been shined to a mirror buff, raised onto pedestals and exhibited as objects of sophisticated art and design.

ngv car exhibition

ngv car exhibition

The gallery design is extremely effective and I loved how the bold colour palettes greatly enhanced the presentation of the cars. Even if you read none of the information it’s a visually stunning space and very photogenic.

ngv car exhibition

ngv car exhibition

ngv car exhibition

ngv car exhibition

Shifting Gear: Design, Innovation and the Australian Car is one of the branches of NGV’s long-term strategy to become a leading hub for contemporary art, design and architecture. Just this year Nordic Cool – Modernist Design has opened, a new curatorial department has been created, the two gallery shops have been relaunched as a design-focused retailer NGV design store and a new collection area is being created for design and architecture.

In April Coco Flip will enliven the Great Hall with Puku Ottomans and in September an ongoing Commission for Ephemeral Architecture will launch with a stunning sweeping work by John Wardle Architects ‘I Dips Me Lid’.

In 2016 a Design Project Space will open presenting a year round program of exhibitions and in 2017 the NGV Triennial will launch.

It’s going to be an exciting period for the National Gallery of Victoria!

Shifting Gear: Design, Innovation and the Australian Car, NGV Australia, Federation Square

Friday 6 March – Sunday 12 July 2015

Open 10am—5pm daily Closed Mondays

Adults $15, Concession $12, Child $7, Family $41 Book here.

HOT: Where the Wild Things Sing by Black Hole Theatre, Summersalt Outdoor Arts Festival 2015, Southbank

where the wild things sing

Summersalt is Melbourne newest arts festival centred around Southbank’s Dodds Street/Sturt Street area, with five weekends of art, dance, music and theatre in February.

I bought tickets to ‘Where the Wild Things Sing’ which was billed as an ‘urban safari through the streets of Southbank where opera and puppetry collide in an adventure full of surprises’.

The hour performance was certainly a surprising experience, not least of which it introduced me to some beautiful street art and buildings in an area that I’ve often visited but never really explored fully.

where the wild things sing

There were about 30 adults and children on our family-friendly performance of the show and I very much enjoyed an hour of kookiness and unexpected encounters accompanied by some beautiful singing. The evening (non-family-friendly) performances are apparently ‘naughtier’ with adult themes and are for people 15+ years.

The 60 minute experience was led by raconteur Bernard Caleo who, along with series of mermaids, guided the group to a series of intimate performances in unexpected places.

where the wild things sing

where the wild things sing

where the wild things sing

I won’t reveal too much but the roll call included a gorilla, giant maggots barbecuing, a panda reading a pamphlet, tiny surreal sculptures, a bed-bug ridden beardy man and some crazed synchro swimming in a tub.

where the wild things sing

where the wild things sing

where the wild things sing

The whole surreal experience made me laugh, kept me fascinated and made me look at my surroundings in a new light.

where the wild things sing

Tickets are $5 from Melbourne Recital Centre and numbers are strictly limited for their last performances on Friday 20 February and Saturday 21 February.

Where the Wild Things Sing by Black Hole Theatre, Summersalt Outdoor Arts Festival 2015, Southbank 

Family performance Sat 21 Feb 3pm

Evening Performances (for 15+ years
, adult themes) Fri 20 Feb 8.30pm

Tickets $5 each. 

HOT: The Island Bird by Ernesto Neto, 3rd floor, NGV International, 180 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne

ernesto neto ngv

One of National Gallery of Victoria’s newest international contemporary acquisitions is Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto’s “The Island Bird”. It’s an interactive, immersive installation which will delight young and old.

ernesto neto ngv

“The Island Bird,” enables visitors to enter within the exhibit by climbing into a 10m wide roof-mounted, hanging network of rope tunnels.

The ropes are hand-knotted together using a traditional craft technique to create a suspended nest. It’s quite incredible that these thin threads are able to hold the weight of thousands of rubber balls and several humans (only five people are allowed inside at once).

ernesto neto ngv

It’s an unusual vantage point to be able to look out from an artwork into the gallery space, breaking down the traditional divide between art and the viewer. The mesh of tropical colours gives a different vista at every turn.

At the back of the tunnel is a resting area with knotted cushions and informal seating where you can relax and rest. In fact, the gentle swinging of the work as people move in and around The Island Bird is quite soothing.

ernesto neto ngv

The Island Bird is a fun way to get really involved in art. It’s also a beautiful structure for calmer, more meditative moments as you hover in the air, gently swaying.

The Island Bird by Ernesto Neto, 3rd floor, NGV International, 180 St Kilda Road Melbourne

Open every day (except Tuesdays) 10am-5pm

Exhibition open until Sun 19 April 2015

Free entry

HOT: Emily Floyd: The Dawn, The Ian Potter Centre, NGV Australia, Federation Square

emily floyd ngv

Emily Floyd: The Dawn is an exhibition of the work of Melbourne artist Emily Floyd and it’s the newest children’s installation in NGV Australia at Federation Square.

emily floyd ngv

The enormous circular sculpture bookcases of ‘The Dawn’ and the colourful stylised blocks comprising ‘Workshop’ sit on the ground floor entrance of the gallery and they are a striking introduction to Emily Floyd’s colourful and playful work.

emily floyd ngv

The main display is on the third floor and features Floyd’s installations, sculpture, print and video work dating from 2001 to 2014. As you walk in Floyd’s flock of parrots in ‘An open space’ and the exaggerated size of the classic stacking toy ‘Steiner Rainbow’ will bring a smile to your face.

emily floyd ngv

My favourite works were ‘It’s because I talk too much that I do nothing’ with text from Crime and Punishment circulating around the ‘Emerald City’ as Lady AB called it – actually a representation of the onion domes of St Petersburg. Similarly, ‘The Outsider’ was a glistening material interpretation of Albert Camus’ novel.

emily floyd ngv

emily floyd ngv

emily floyd ngv

The exhibition also includes a specially commissioned kid’s project called Emily Floyd: The Dawn for Kids with two interactive spaces that encourage creativity using letters and words and inspired by Feminist activism from the 1970s and 80s.

emily floyd ngv

In one room is a floor full of acrylic letters. Younger children will enjoy the tactile experience of walking along, holding, throwing and probably chewing the letters while older children will delight in finding the right letters to spell their names or creating sculptures using the letter blocks.

emily floyd ngv

Around the perimeter of ‘Word Farm’ is some colourful bench seating by  designer and educator Mary Featherstone which incidentally also makes for great climbing fun and running fun for toddlers. I saw a poor museum attendant trying to rub off marks on the benches and I suspect that will be a lost cause…

emily floyd ngv

The second room of was ‘Small Press’, a location for children to write their own manifesto while learning about design and typography. Lots of fun to be had tapping on typewriters and playing with stamps!

Emily Floyd: The Dawn is a fun, engaging and educational art experience for babies to adults. Best of all, it’s free!

Emily Floyd: The Dawn, The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Federation Square

Fri 21 Nov – Sun 1 Mar 2015

Free entry

10am-5pm closed Mondays

 

HOT: Maribyrnong Makers Market, Seddon Uniting Church, cnr Gamon and Mackay Sts, Seddon

maribyrnong makers market

Maribyrnong Makers Market is a sweet little arts and crafts market held several times a year in Seddon. The market is at Seddon Uniting Church, a small and charming venue which hosts stalls inside the church hall as well as the outside grounds.

maribyrnong makers market

The focus of the market is about showcasing the work of local craftspeople and artists. Every stall holder has made their products themselves and the community feel extends to the charity sausage sizzle set up on the pavement outside.

maribyrnong makers market

I bought some treats from Helen’s Kitchen Favourites, a local sweets and preserves business based in Williamstown.

maribyrnong makers market

I even got to meet Helen and her husband Simon and her sales patter convinced me to buy her handmade and preservative-free pate and shortbread. Both were delicious but particular mention must go to the buttery, crumbly biscuits – three of us devoured 8 large rounds of passionfruit topped ones in one afternoon!

maribyrnong makers market

I also loved Little Puddles’ DIY felt ball garland and wreath kit but wasn’t sure of my handicraft skills as to whether I’d be able to make one. Maybe by Christmas I’ll have worked up the nerve!

maribyrnong makers market

It’s not every day that you see someone like Raxor, a craftperson actually hand spinning yarn in order to make her woollen goods.

maribyrnong makers market

The Maribyrnong Makers Market is a great place to buy some lovely, unique and often handmade things and meet the makers who come from the local area. It’s also within walking distance to Seddon Village with cafes and more shops to explore.

Maribyrnong Makers Market’s next dates in 2014 are tomorrow Saturday 22 November where it will extend down to the nearby park Harris Reserve and Thursday 18 December, just in time for Christmas.

Maribyrnong Makers Market, Seddon Uniting Church, cnr Gamon and Mackay Sts, Seddon

Saturday 22 November 9.30am – 3.30pm

Thursday 18 December 4.30pm – 8.30pm

HOT: Express Yourself: Romance Was Born for Kids, NGV International, 180 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne

romance was born ngv

Express Yourself: Romance Was Born For Kids is the newest Children’s Gallery commission at the National Gallery of Victoria – but it’s not just for kids. There is plenty of exhibition within the space to entertain and interest adults too and it makes the perfect stopover after the fashion extravaganza of the NGV’s Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition.

Fashion designers Romance Was Born have turned the gallery space into a crazy kaleidoscope of colour which typifies the work of fashion mavericks Luke Sales and Anna Plunkett.

An array of colourful sequins frames the entrance before you enter into a several rooms. Each room contains a jaw-dropping fantastical environment that will stimulate, engage and provide lots of opportunity for creative play.

romance was born

romance was born

The first room is the ‘Rainbow Room’, an immersive space which encourages children to engage with rainbow-coloured objects in glass cases and then design their own rainbow using the touchscreens.

romance was born ngv

The end of the Rainbow Room takes you to my favourite room, the ‘Bush Magic’ room. The walls are decorated in a fantastical imagining of a bush setting while digital rock pools allow you to ‘swim’ with colourful fish and mysterious sea creatures.

romance was born

Then you move into the ‘Make and Do’ room where you can decorate and make a beard or a necklace by attaching sequins, pom poms and googly eyes onto various colourful templates. I spotted several adults sporting these decorative pieces around the gallery during my visit!

romance was born

Throughout the space some of the design duo’s richly imaginative work is on display, from gowns to shoes to accessories, as well as photographs and video.

romance was born

romance was born ngv

romance was born

Express Yourself: Romance Was Born For Kids is bold, eccentric and really, really fun. Kids will love all the opportunities to play and create while adults will appreciate the way art and fashion come together in the various installations.

Express Yourself: Romance Was Born For Kids, NGV International, 180 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne

Friday 17 October 2014 to Sunday 22 March 2015.

Open 10am-5pm, closed Tuesdays.

Free entry