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Melbourne Now Exhibition

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by Geraldine Massey (subscribe)
I'm an experienced corporate communicator and editor with an eye for interesting events and an attachment to my trusty Oxford dictionary.
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300 artists & creatives, 30 curators, 2 sites: Melbourne Now
Giant installations, community choirs, indoor gardens, the 'idea of air', taxidermied sculptures, and cake decorating. I bet that quizzical collection has you scratching your head in bewilderment, trying to find a common thread. Well, citizens of Melbourne, it's art, but possibly not as you know it. This summer the National Gallery of Victoria will present its most ambitious project ever.

melbourne now, NGV art exhibitions, national gallery of Victoria
Image from NGV website.

Melbourne Now is an exhibition of breathtaking depth and breadth, involving more than 300 artists, 30 curators and 8,000 square metres of exhibition space across two sites. It will celebrate Melbourne's place in the worlds of art, fashion, architecture, performance and design. And what a place that is.

There are so many separate and sometimes surprising elements that will come together for Melbourne Now that it's difficult to know where to start, so below I've outlined some of the major talking points and contributors to the exhibition's specialist areas: visual arts, design, architecture, dance and sound, Melbourne Now for Kids, and special projects. You can download a video about the exhibition here.

Visual Arts

Visual arts participants have been drawn from a range of disciplines such as painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, ceramics, video, jewellery, online projects and installations. A full list of participating artists is available here.

melbourne now, NGV art exhibitions, national gallery of Victoria, visual arts Melbourne
A previous installation work by Slow Art Collective

melbourne now, NGV art exhibitions, national gallery of Victoria, visual arts Melbourne
West Park Proposition 2012 (production still) three channel video installation, by Ask Keating. Photo by Greta Costello. Image from NGV Blog.


The disciplines of industrial, product, furniture and graphic design, as well as contemporary fashion will all feature in the exhibition.

melbourne now, NGV art exhibitions, national gallery of Victoria, visual arts Melbourne
Cardboard stools by Anthony Dann. Image from NGV Blog.

Melbourne Design Now, curated by Simone LeAmon, which focusses upon leading design stories in Melbourne through the work of over 50 leading practices and individuals.

The outside spaces at NGV will be transformed into a giant backyard including a state-of-the-art caravan that is really a working studio for designers, a native food forest and a living, growing garden that you can tend.

melbourne now, NGV art exhibitions, national gallery of Victoria, visual arts Melbourne
The Bolwell EDGE RV caravan designed by Vaughan Bolwell. Image from NGV Blog.


Architectural commissions for Melbourne Now include 'an incubator for urban thinking' by Ashton Raggatt McDougall, a geodesic dome construction by Rory Hyde, and a Reading Room designed by architectural collective SIBLING.

For Kids

At home with the Hotham Street Ladies, 2013, has been specially commissioned by NGV. This group of five fabulous food creators will makeover NGV Australia's foyer into an icing confection that represents "a cluttered share household space".

melbourne now, hotham street ladies, cake decorations, icing art
A creation from the Hotham Street Ladies. Image from NGV blog.

The Melbourne Now Children's Festival runs from 18th to 26th January 2014 and includes circus performances, meetings with artists, animal petting, and story telling.

Special Projects

Community halls are often the lifeblood of communities, bringing diverse people together to share a range of experiences. Melbourne Now will have its very own Community Hall, albeit an architecturally designed one, at the entrance to NGV International for the duration of the exhibition. It's here that the Melbourne community can participate, with a program of over 600 events ranging from poetry performances to community choirs, and featuring decoration by some of Melbourne's most passionate collectors.

Melbourne Now is at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia and NGV International from 22nd November 2013 to 23rd March 2014 from 10am to 5pm each day. Entry is Free.

This is ground-breaking stuff; the largest exhibition in the NGV's 152 year history, and one that has not just Melbourne's highly visible design aesthetic, but also community participation and social interaction, at its very core. Get involved in the artistic and cultural life of the world's most liveable city, your city, with Melbourne Now.
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Why? For the largest exhibition in the NGV's 152 year history.
When: From 22nd November 2013 to 23rd March 2014. From 10am to 5pm daily.
Where: NGV International International and NGV Australia
Cost: It's all FREE
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