Conferences, symposia, talks, walks and other art events in Melbourne and further afield.

Lecture | Sound Matters: One Energy Among Others – Douglas Kahn


Gertrude, Discipline and Liquid Architecture – Theories and Histories of Sound Douglas Kahn will give the second lecture in a series presented by Gertrude Contemporary, Discipline and Liquid Architecture festival on the theories and histories of sound. This exploratory talk will follow from Douglas Kahn’s most recent book, Earth Sound Earth Signal: Energies and Earth Magnitude in the Arts (University of California Press, 2013). The book, over a decade in the making, is a fundamental reworking in the histories of science, communications, music and the arts to account for the…

Symposium | Kiffy Rubbo and The George Paton Gallery: Curating the 1970s


A dynamic and unique force in Australian art, Kiffy Rubbo was director of the Ewing (later the George Paton) Gallery, at the University of Melbourne Student Union, 1971-1980. For the first time, her major role in Australian visual culture as well as her legacy are explored. Her curatorial strategies and the narratives she proposed about contemporary art are investigated together with the Gallery’s radical agenda. With Meredith Rogers, assistant director (1974-1979), Rubbo devised an innovative and inclusive program presenting a wide range of artforms. Under Rubbo’s leadership, the Gallery became…

Panel Discussions on Culture and Heritage

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A series of Panel Discussions are being held as a precursor to the ICOM-CC 17th Triennial Conference 2014 ( The events are jointly organised by The Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation at the University of Melbourne and The Australian Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Materials (AICCM). The panel discussions are open to the public for participation. The events expand on the conference theme of ‘Building strong culture through conservation’ that celebrates the preservation of culture as a powerful and positive force in strengthening society, enhancing people’s sense of identity,…

Symposium | Patronage, poetry and the art of William Blake

Wiliam Blake, Vala, Hyle and Skofeld
plate 51 from Jerusalem c. 1804 – c. 1820, c. 1820
relief etching and white-line etching printed in orange ink, and finished with watercolour, pen and ink and gold paint, Felton Bequest, 1920, 1026-3

  A symposium exploring William Blake’s poetry, his acclaimed Divine Comedy watercolours and John Linnell’s patronage of the artist. Speakers Professor Gerard Vaughan, The University of Melbourne; Professor Peter Otto, The University of Melbourne; and Associate Professor Jennifer Jones-O’Neill, Federation University (formerly University of Ballarat) Date: Saturday 23rd AUgust, 2pm Venue:NGV International, 180 St Kilda Road, Ground Level, Clemenger BBDO Auditorium Ticketing Information: Cost $25 A / $20 M / $22 C, Bookings essential Information & bookings: Ph +61 3 8662 1555, 10am-5pm daily, Booking code P1480

Event | Italian Masterpieces Student Night | NGV


The NGV is holding a special student night for the Italian Masterpieces from Spain’s Royal Court exhibition. Special student concession price of $13 Pop up talks in the exhibition including Auslan Interpreted and Audio describing options. Figure drawing with Juan Ford in the foyer. Food and drink available for purchase from the Gallery Kitchen. Tickets available on the night at the door (Student ID required) Group Bookings for 8 or more available ahead of time Ph. 8620 2340 12-5pm weekdays. Email

Opening Weekend Events for TarraWarra Biennial 2014 – Whisper in My Mask | Saturday 16th August

Sandra Hill
Home-maker #7 - Cake Making 2012
oil on linen
76 x 91 cm
Murdoch University Art Collection
Courtesy of the artist and Mossenson Galleries, Perth

This weekend (Saturday 16th August) is the opening weekend of the TarraWarra Biennial 2014: Whisper in My Mask will feature a premiere of a one act play and a series of talks by artists featured in the exhibition. About the Biennial 16 August 2014 – 16 November 2014 The TarraWarra Biennial was inaugurated in 2006 as a signature exhibition to identify new developments in contemporary Australian art practice under an experimental curatorial platform. The TarraWarra Biennial 2014: Whisper in My Mask, curated by Natalie King and Djon Mundine, is the…

Free Lunchtime Lecture at Homlesglen | Noël Skrzypczak

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Noël Skrzypczak (pronounced Scrip-jack) is a Melbourne artist whose work has consistently addressed the materiality of painting and surface. Her wall paintings, a major one of which was commissioned for the lobby of the Melbourne Crown Metropole Hotel, recall the expressive spontaneity of surrealism and the pour and drip of action painting. The Holmesglen Collection includes three early works by the artist – these are currently installed in the Information Commons, Moorabbin campus. Noël is represented in significant public and private collections throughout Australia and will be speaking at the…

Talk | Jason Smith on the correspondence of John Reed at Heide Museum of Modern Art

Detail of the Reed Christmas Card from 1955. Via Heide Website.

2014 marks eighty years since John and Sunday Reed purchased the property and named it Heide, after the nearby town of Heidelberg. As part of the celebrations of this milestone Heide is holding series of programs that reveal their unique history, the remarkable achievements of its founders John and Sunday Reed and the fascinating art, architecture and gardens that make Heide one of Melbourne’s best-loved public art museums. This Sunday Heide director & CEO Jason Smith looks back over the eighty-year history of Heide through the fascinating, thought-provoking and revealing correspondence of John Reed. Date:…

Update Lecture Booked Out | World Art Now, The Provincialism Problem Then: 40 years of contemporary art | Terry Smith


Update: Please note this talk is booked out. In September 1974, the New York magazine Artforum published Terry Smith’s article The Provincialism Problem. Among the first to question the concentration of modernist values in artworlds in cities such as New York, Paris, and London. The essay was immediately pirated in Brazil and South Africa, has been constantly reprinted, and continues to be frequently referred to by artists, critics, theorists and historians around the world, making it one of the most cited texts by an Australian writer on art. In this lecture,…

Exhibitions currently on at MONA – Museum of Old and New Art

Image via MONA.

Permanent exhibition | MONANISM – Evolving | Curated by David Walsh, Olivier Varenne and Nicole Durling and the MONA team   The permanent collection exhibition continues; however, it keeps changing.   Some of the works currently on display:  Gelitin, Locus Focus (2010); Anselm Kiefer, Sternenfall (1999) and Sternenfall/Shevirath ha Kelim (2007); Christian Boltanski, The Life of C. B. (2010); Chris Ofili, The Holy Virgin Mary (1996); Wim Delvoye, Cloaca Professional (2010). Favourites – love/hate: Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s Pulse Room (2006), Brigita Ozolin’s Kryptos (2008-2010) and Wim Delvoye’s Cloaca Professional (2010). THE…

Lecture | Concealments: Textile Conservation as Material Culture | University of Melbourne


Concealments: Textile Conservation as Material Culture  | Dr Dinah Eastop, Textile Conservator Conservation responds to environmental, material and social change, including the emotive responses of people. Dr. Eastop’s paper looks at the response to garments concealed within the structure of buildings many years before recent discovery. She will draw on her work for the Deliberately Concealed Garments Project. She initiated this research project in 1998 to help preserve garments (and other artifacts) found hidden within the structure of buildings. How such finds are treated post- discovery varies greatly, depending of…

Lecture |Big ideas under the dome: Maurizio Seracini | State Library Of Victoria

Palazzo Vecchio's Hall of 500

Eds note: Many art historians (Leonardo expert Martin Kemp among them – more here) find Seracini’s claims over-the-top and his techniques rather questionable. At the time that this hit the press in 2011 a group of 150 art historians from museums including the New York Met and the National Gallery in London  signed a petition to stop the work. However, this talk may be of interest to readers. Some suggested pre-talk reading here and here that counters many of Seracini’s claims. Leonardo’s lost Battle of Anghiari mural is one of…

Melbourne Portrait Group Seminar | Adam Bushby, ‘El Gran Turco: Ottoman Turks in Venetian painting, 1453-1571′

Gentile Bellini (attr.), Portrait of Sultan Mehmet II (1480). National Gallery, London.

Ottoman Turks often appear in Venetian painting between the Turkish conquest of Constantinople in 1453 and the defeat of the Turkish navy by the Holy League at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571. The relationship between the Republic of Venice and the Ottoman Empire is typically understood through commercial trade, naval battles and religious differences. This paper examines the representation of Ottoman Turks in Venetian painting, including portraiture, identifying a trend of increasingly negative representations, and discussing the extent to which pictorial changes reflected political and commercial changes in the…

Lecture | Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev | Boiler Room Lecture at Monash


Monash University Museum of Art [MUMA], in association with Monash Art, Design and Architecture [MADA], present a special lecture by Italian-American curator, author and researcher Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, Artistic Director of the 14th Istanbul Biennial 2015 and Visiting Professor in Art Theory and Practice at Northwestern University, Illinois, USA. Christov-Bakargiev was named 2012’s most powerful person in the art world by Art Review’s Power 100 listings. She was Artistic Director of dOCUMENTA (13), which took place in Kassel, Germany, and extended to workshops, seminars and exhibitions in Alexandria, Egypt; Kabul, Afghanistan;…

Exhibition | Gunter Christman: Now and Then | Heide Museum of Modern Art

acrylic and mixed media on canvas
137 x 122cm
© The Estate of Gunter Christmann and Niagara Galleries, Melbourne

Gunter Christman: Now and Then is on now at Heide Museum of Modern Art until 16th November 2014. EVENT | This Saturday (2nd August 2:00pm) Artist Simon Barney, a friend and colleague of Gunter Christmann for thirty years, talks about Christmann’s inspirations, techniques and perspectives on art. Free with entry. About the Exhibition At the time of his death in 2013, Gunter Christmann was gathering anew the type of critical and public attention that surrounded his striking debut as an artist in the 1960s. Painting for himself rather than the market throughout…