From Sydney to Melbourne

There’s something really special about hopping on a plane and not really knowing what you’ll experience on the other side, and I always get that buzz when I know I’m going to ACMI and NGV in Melbourne.

I’ve only been to Melbourne a handful of times, but it seriously gets better every time. Thats why this time, I dragged my sister and mum with me so they could see what the hell I was going on about, even if only for a couple of days.

I played (very basic) tour guide, wandering through the back streets of Brunswick into the city, as we constantly stuffed our faces with delicious treats on the way to the galleries and second hand stores.

Highlights were the David Bowie is… and Orry Kelly:Dressing Hollywood exhibitions at ACMI. The main reason I brought my camera down was to get some amazing pictures of the Bowie costumes, but no cameras were allowed in the exhibition so I’ll just have to tell you that they were freakin’ amazeballs and you’ll just have to trust me. So many slick coloured suits, so much Kansai Yamamoto glam rock goodness. The Orry Kelly exhibit was great too (if pretty small) and I was super excited by the Gypsy, Les Girls, Casablanca and Some Like It Hot costumes: Iconic.

The NGV didn’t disappoint either. The Bunyips and Dragons children’s book illustrations were great, and the Pleasure and Reality exhibit had some amazing Justene Williams video installations. She’s a real video art inspiration of mine, and I didn’t realise her work was in the gallery so that was a fantastic surprise that left me giggling like a madman to myself. The Rigg design prize blew me away too, in particular Kate Rohde‘s psychedelic table setting complete with Scifi glassware and taxidermy fantasy creatures mounted on the crazy colourful walls. I want to surround myself in her work, all day everyday.

The kids exhibit Open House Tromarama was another great surprise: Lots of tactile experiences grounded in domestic spaces. Rooms with walls made of pillows and towels, rooms covered in stacked plates, a room filled with fake plants and flowers, a room with an entirely light-tiled floor ala Saturday Night Fever, and at the end, a bathtub filled with toys to create stop motion animations using a special iPad app. So much fun,and honestly it just felt great to roll around on a light up floor surrounded by laughing kids.

I also stumbled upon an artist book by Australian artist and Rookie mag contributor Minna Gilligan called Poems, Prayers and Promises in the NGV giftshop. I love her collage work so much, and it’s a book that has some collage but also a bunch of really lovely poems. It’s equal parts nostalgic, melancholy and optimistic, and I’m so glad I stumbled across a copy…Makes me want to get back into making some collage!

I was disappointed we missed out on the Australian Surrealism exhibit (it opened the week after!) and for some reason I thought the Ai Weiwei and Warhol retrospective was on too (but thats not starting until December 11) but that just means I’ll have to book another trip down pretty soon.

And that’s totally fine with me.

Until next time, Melbourne! I miss you already!

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