25 Aug 21 Feb 2018
Occasionally you bump into something awesomely interesting in surprising places. I like to visit the Chinese Museum when in Melbourne. On a recent visit I encountered the work of Zhou Xiaoping there and was wowed by the inspiring story of a Chinese artist working with Australian Indigenous artists in the western deserts. The artists influenced each other and the resulting works were new and inspiring. There was a video that tracked the development of the relationship through to an exhibition in the major national gallery in Beijing. The web page is below.
I love little targeted exhibitions. On a visit to the State Library of Victoria recently I walked through their large exhibition on books in history and encountered a small exhibition about the relationship between a Premier and the political cartoonists. It was a delightful collection of cartoons of a series of Victorian Premiers with fascinating textual stories about the relationships and contexts of the cartoons and the Premiers. It gave an insight into a past era but pointed to an important ongoing part of our modern society.
A link to a talk that was held that includes one of the cartoons.
I have been a fan of Glenn Murcutts architecture for a long time. I have been a fan of Islamic architecture for even longer. When I found out that Murcutt has been asked to work with the Melbourne Islamic community to prepare a building for them to centre their shared lives on I was excited.
There is currently an exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria, Federation square that shows the designs, the developing thinking and the community consultation involved between Murcutt, the community and one of their architects to bring about a remarkable centre for worship, education and socialising. The exhibition did not disappoint and next visit to Melbourne I hope to visit the completed centre.The website has an essay and some pictures of the plans and the build.
Some areas of creativity evoke awe in me. High end jewellery is one such area. Bulgari have been a standard setter in the field for around 100 years. Their styles have led the market in decade after decade, Their products have decorated celebrities at all the right events and they still have a reputation for creativity and excellence.
At the NGV right now there is a glitzily mounted exhibition of items from the company’s heritage collection and it demonstrates all the features of their craft. Mounted in glass cases with notes “Do not touch the items” are a collection of sumptuously laid out integration of jewellery,high quality metals and gemstones. There are notes that explain their connection to significant people and events. My phone battery had gone dead so I have put below the gorgeous website of the Bulgari Heritage Collection so you can get the sense of these extraordinary creations.
Bulgari Heritage Page Gorgeous pictures and text
NGV Web page
Single room exhibitions often make a big impression. Scale in this exhibition is key, This ngatu (painted tapa) exhibition consists of three monumental bark cloth wall hangings created by contemporary artists, Robin White and Ruha Fifita in collaboration with the women of Haveluloto, Tonga.
As you walk into the space there is what looks like a carpet stretching across the great room and up the opposite wall. Close inspection shows that with folds it is almost twice the width of the room and is beautifully illustrated. The cultural elements on these tapa cloths are clear. The story that is being told is one of migration both of fish and humans.
I love the scale and beauty of this set. Here is the page link and some phone pics.