Exhibition | Emily Floyd ‘Far Rainbow’ | Heide Museum of Modern Art

Emily Floyd – Far Rainbow

Heide Museum of Modern Art until 13 July 2014

Emily Floyd | Far Rainbow 2013 | Courtesy of the artist and Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne and Sydney | © the artist

Heide Museum of Modern Art is currently exhibiting a survey of works by Melbourne based, contemporary artist Emily Floyd. The exhibition brings together key works from the past ten years of Floyd’s practice with eleven new works created specifically for Heide galleries and grounds.

The title Far Rainbow is taken from a 1963 Soviet science-fiction story set on the imaginary planet Rainbow, a utopian location inhabited by artists and scientists, which faces destruction when a science experiment spirals out of control. A starship sent to rescue the children and their teachers becomes like an orbiting kindergarten carrying with it the possibility of a regenerated future. This modern parable offers a vivid parallel to our own planet under threat and serves to introduce themes explored in the exhibition, such as the nature of utopia and the concept of the kindergarten.

Floyd is inspired by connections between art, learning and play; her sculptures use the simple geometries and bright colours of educational wooden toys—like those made in the tradition of visionary architect and educationalist Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925), or by women artists at the German based Bauhaus school of modernist art and design (1919– 1933) or by her own toymaker father and grandmother.

Floyd describes her exhibition at Heide as ‘anchored in the worlds of the child and learning’ and in ‘children’s perceptions of space’. The works on display reflect her growing interest in alternative educational theories, while also encompassing broader concerns like feminism, community and social radicalism and their contribution to modernist art and its envisioning of future worlds.

‘Far Rainbow’ at Heide is the first of two, major survey exhibitions by Floyd this year in Melbourne. ‘The Dawn’ opens at the National Gallery of Victoria in November.

For opening hours and ticket prices see the Heide website:


About Emily Floyd | Melbourne artist Emily Floyd creates many permanent public works of art. She has completed a number of high-profile commissions for Melbourne’s Eastlink Motorway, the Docklands Precinct and Rialto Tower Redevelopment and for the Monash University Museum of Art.

Over the past decade, she has participated in over fifty exhibitions in Australia and internationally including: The Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, 2009; Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne, 2010; the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 2010; the Australian Embassy, Washington DC, USA, 2011 and the Habitat Centre, New Delhi, India, 2012. Recent solo projects include ‘New Graphic Sculpture’ at Anna Schwartz Gallery, 2012 and the inaugural MCA Bella Room Building Commission, Sydney, 2012.

Forthcoming projects include a solo exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria and sculptural installations for Queensland’s new Children’s Hospital and for The Rowe Street Redevelopment in the Sydney CBD.

Emily’s work is held in the collections of several Australian State Galleries, the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra and The Victoria and Albert Museum, London. She is represented by Anna Schwartz Gallery in Melbourne and Sydney.

Public Programs


Thursday 15 May, 6–9pm

A night of conversation, creativity and live music at Heide!

Explore Emily Floyd’s exhibition which takes inspiration from a 1963 science-fiction novella by Boris and Arkady Strugatsky set on the fictional planet Rainbow, an idyllic location within the imaginary Noon Universe. Drop into a micro talk and discover utopian and futuristic worlds, visit the pop-up library book-swap and find your guilty secret and join a collaborative drawing project which will be viewed online.

Cost Adult $25, Member/Concession $20 (includes museum admission & a glass of Yering Station wine on arrival. BBQ and drinks will be available for purchase from Café Vue Heide.)


Thursday 29 May, 10–11.30am

Join noted modernist Mary Featherston and curator Sue Cramer for a discussion on educational activism and the relationship between progressive education and design, followed by a delicious morning tea by Café Vue Heide. Featherston’s boldly designed broadsheet Ripple, was connected to the Community Child Care movement in Melbourne between 1976 and 1982, and is the subject of a new series of screenprints by Floyd that are being exhibited in Far Rainbow. This special tour will examine the ways Featherstons’ practice links up with Floyd’s interest in the worlds of the child and learning.

Cost Adult $20, Member/Concession $16 (includes museum admission & morning tea)


Sunday 18 May, 2pm; Saturday 31 May, 2pm; Cost FREE (with admission)