Melbourne Events

Art and Art History related events in Melbourne. We welcome submissions in this category. If you are organising or know of an event that would be of interest to our readers please see ‘Contact Us’ for detail on how to submit an item.

Lecture | Conrad Rudolph – Faces, Art, and Computerized Evaluation Systems | University of Melbourne

Lorenzo de’ Medici,
probably after a model by Andrea
Del Verrocchio and Orsino
Benintendi, Samuel H. Kress
Collection, National Gallery of Art,
Washington D.C.

FACES (Faces, Art, and Computerized Evaluation Systems) is a project that, after two years of research support from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), has established proof of concept for the application of face recognition technology to works of portrait art. In the application of face recognition technology to photographed human faces, a number of difficulties are inherent in a real or perceived alteration of appearance of the face through variations in facial expression, age, angle of pose, and so on. With works of portrait art, not only do all these problems pertain, but these works also have their own additional challenges. Most notably, portrait art does not provide what might be called a photographic likeness but rather one…

Collaboratory | Reading the Face: Image, Text and Emotion | University of Melbourne


The face is one of the most intense sites for the expression and communication of emotion. That intensity generates millions of representations of the face, in a range of textual, dramatic, visual, cinematic and material forms. This collaboratory will bring together research on representations of the expressive face, from the medieval to the modern world, from illumination and early print culture through to contemporary graphic novels, non-fiction and cinema. Speakers will consider how images of the face make meaning and communicate emotion, and will focus particularly on the question of facial hermeneutics: how do we read and interpret faces, whether they appear to us in visual, textual or cinematic form? The collaboratory will also consider the relation between the human…

Public Forum | Phase Change | TarraWarra Museum of Art


Phase Change, an interactive, interdisciplinary laboratory exploring the impact of global warming in the Yarra Valley, will hold a Public Forum at the TarraWarra Museum of Art on Sunday 31 May, from 12-5pm. Speakers from the fields of sustainable design, economics and Indigenous knowledge will debate issues highlighted by the PhaseChange project, which is being conducted at the Museum, from 28 March – 8 June 2015. Led by design academics, practitioners and students from RMIT, PhaseChange is envisioning scenarios for sustainable and resilient futures, engaging directly with global warming and its ecological impacts at a local and regional scale, working across a range of design disciplines and related practices. The Phase Change Public Forum will be introduced by Charles Anderson, landscape architect, artist and Senior Lecturer in…

Symposium | The Stardom and Celebrity of David Bowie | ACMI

Album cover shoot for Aladdin Sane, 1973. Photograph by Brian Duffy.

The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) will host a two-day symposium bringing together artists, academics and cultural commentators, in conversation and performance, to reflect upon the cultural and artistic significance of ‘David Bowie’ in rock, pop, film, art, fashion and performance. Coinciding with the exclusive Australasian season of the David Bowie is exhibition at ACMI, The Stardom and Celebrity of David Bowie, will take place on Friday 17 and Saturday 18 July 2015. The symposium brings together a range of international and local scholars and performers with keynote speakers including Dr Will Brooker, Professor of Film and Cultural Studies at Kingston University; Robert Forster, the Australian singer-songwriter best known for his work as a co-founder and songwriter of The Go-Betweens; Angela Ndalianis, Head of Screen and…

Gertrude Contemporary–Discipline 2015 Lecture #4 | David Raskin – Hiroshi Sugimoto’s Inhuman Photographs

hiroshi sugimoto

In asking why responses to Sugimoto’s photographs turn on a dime from awe to scorn, I suggest that these strange works of art manage to escape human desires. My hope is that by moving the conversation away from entrenched dichotomies such aesthetics or anti-aesthetics and toward an analysis of the nature of objects and feelings, I can suggest the ethical and practical consequences of inhuman art. David Raskin is Mohn Family Professor of Contemporary Art History at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and Editor-in-Chief of He is author of Donald Judd (Yale University Press, 2010), and other scholarly publications, including essays on Noriyuki Haraguchi, Ad Reinhardt, Jo Baer, Olle Baertling, Enrique Martínez Celaya, Carl Andre, and…

Lecture Series at NGV | The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood

Walter Howell DEVERELL
The grey parrot (c. 1852-1853) 
oil on canvas
53.5 x 35.2 cm
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Felton Bequest, 1913

The NGV is running a lecture series exploring the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood as part of their current exhibition Medieval Moderns: The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.  Sat 16 May: Laurie Benson, Curator, International Art ‘The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in the National Gallery of Victoria’ The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood are widely recognised as a the most dynamic group of artists to ever work in Britain. They radically shifted the goal-posts of the British art world, changing it forever. The NGV’s holdings of works by the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood are world renowned. The Gallery has been consistently acquiring these works since the 1880s until today. Medieval Moderns is the first comprehensive exhibition of the NGV’s Pre Raphaelites for more than forty years and this talk will focus on the collecting of…

Boiler Room Lecture | Charles Esche | Artistic freedom and cultural critique in the context of corporatism in the art world

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Monash University Museum of Art [MUMA] and Monash Art, Design and Architecture [MADA] are pleased to co-present in partnership with the Research Unit in Public Cultures [RUPC] and the School of Culture and Communications at the University of Melbourne, a keynote lecture by Charles Esche, Director, the Van Abbemuseum, the Netherlands. This lecture will be introduced by Charlotte Day, Director MUMA, and followed by a discussion and Q&A with Charles Esche convened by Nikos Papastergiadis, Professor, School of Culture and Communication, The University of Melbourne. For almost two decades, Charles Esche has been a protagonist in reshaping the curatorial landscape. His work as a director of important European institutions, curator of major biennials and both writer and publisher of critical…

2015 Trendall Lecture | Professor Tyler Jo Smith – More Celebrated than Actually Known': Sir John Soane’s Greek Vases

Sir John Soane’s Museum L101. Apulian krater, c. late 4th century BC

The 19th Trendall Lecture will be given by Professor Tyler Jo Smith, Associate Professor of Classical Art and Archaeology at the University of Virginia, USA, will present the lecture titled ‘More Celebrated than Actually Known: Sir John Soane’s Greek Vases. This lecture is hosted by the A.D. Trendall Research Centre for Ancient Mediterranean Studies at La Trobe University. Sir John Soane (1753–1837) launched his career as an antiquities collector with the purchase of a large red-figure vase manufactured in southern Italy during the 4th century BC. Known as the Cawdor Vase, the monumental vessel is arguably the first object among numerous Classical antiquities on show to greet visitors to Sir John Soane’s Museum at no. 13 Lincoln Inn’s Fields, London.…

Lecture and Discussion | Art in the Time of Colony | Khadija von Zinnenburg Carroll in conversation with Brook Andrew


Khadija von Zinnenburg Carroll in conversation with Brook Andrew In this lecture Khadija von Zinnenburg Carroll presents her method of writing the history of Australian art in the time of (post)colony as one of perpetual anachronism. Through a history of anachronic exhibitions of colonial material in Melbourne by contemporary artists the argument traces shifts between alienation in the museum vitrine and irreverent vitrinizations. The evening’s discussion also marks the launch of the book ‘Art in the Time of Colony’ by focusing on how anachronistic artists engage in a process of disalienation. Brook Andrew will moderate a debate about the taboo and critical import of working with Aboriginal archives. Date: Thursday 14 May, 2015, 6.00 – 7.00pm Venue: 
William Macmahon Ball Theatre, Room 107…

West Space Annual Fundraiser 2015

Tom Polo, The Decision Makers (Hands Held High) 2015, acrylic and Flashe on clapboard, 36 x 28cm. Courtesy of the artist and STATION, Melbourne

West Space is proud to present our 2015 Annual Fundraiser. Originally called A4 Art, the West Space Annual Fundraiser is a curated exhibition that includes artworks by over 100 artists. Works for sale are of diverse size and medium, including sculpture, photography, drawing, painting and videos and prices range from as low as $40 through to $3,000. Artists generously choose to donate either 50% or 100% of the proceeds to West Space. The West Space Annual Fundraiser is a unique opportunity to collect an artwork from a wide selection of emerging and established Australian artists, while also supporting one of Australia’s oldest and most respected artist-led initiatives. This event is a crucial fundraising opportunity for us to raise essential funds to…

Exhibition and Artist Talk | Gosia Wlodarczak – Found in Translation | Deakin University Art Gallery

Gosia Wlodarczak installing FOUND IN TRANSLATION, Interpretation Drawing #2: SIGNS, 2015
Deakin University Art Gallery
Photo: Longin Sarnecki

The exhibition, Found in Translation: Deakin University Art Gallery is a new site-specific project by Gosia Wlodarczak and is part of her ongoing Instruction Drawing project. It explores the notion that drawing and language are coded modes of communication. One mode of communication is language. Language is a code. When words are the mode of communication, each individual uniquely ‘remakes’, ‘interprets’, ‘translates’, ‘de-codes’ words. Another mode of communication is drawing. Drawing is a language. Like language, drawing is a code.  – Gosia Wlodarczak For the exhibition at Deakin, Wlodarczak has created a series of three site-specific wall drawings, each containing encoded texts ‘written’ from these pictorial alphabets. The first piece will be completed by the artist, the second by Deakin University Art…

Art Book Fair | National Gallery of Victoria

art book fair

The NGV is holding an art book fair this weekend (1–3 May) at NGV International. Several of the major events are already booked out but there are plenty of other talks, signings, rare book tours, readings and performances going on, as well the book fair to browse. It is free and open to the public but some events are ticketed so double check the event listing online. About the Art Book Fair Melbourne is a literary city, of readers and curious minds. Celebrating Melbourne’s diverse literary heritage and love of printed matter, and international recognition as one of only eleven worldwide UNESCO Cities of Literature, the NGV presents the Melbourne Art Book Fair in 2015. A new project of its kind in…

Melbourne Portrait Group Seminar | Dr Vivien Gaston | Double Identity: William Orpen’s portrait of George C. Beresford (c. 1900)

William Orpen, ‘Portrait of George C. Beresford’, c. 1900. 135 x 76.8 cm. National Gallery of Victoria, Felton Bequest 1928.

The Melbourne Portrait Group Seminar is starting up again for 2015. The first paper will be given by Dr Vivien Gaston on ‘Double Identity: William Orpen’s portrait of George C. Beresford (c. 1900) in the National Gallery of Victoria’. Date: Thursday 30 April 2015, 6:45pm. Venue: University of Melbourne, Baillieu Library, Dulcie Hollyock Room. Website:

Lecture | Gertrude–Discipline Lecture #3 | Timothy Moore

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The third Gertrude Contemporary–Discipline lecture for 2015 will be given by Timothy Moore on Tuesday the 28th of April, at 6pm for a 6.30pm start. Please N.B. the change of venue to Kalex at 166 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy. ABSTRACT Temporary architecture — that forms a community pavilion or event, a communal working space, artistic intervention, cultural platform or gastronomical destination — has had increased attention in wealthy economies in the twenty-first century. The pop-up project soon pops-down, however its effects are far from temporary. This is the screensaver, where a temporary project acts as a transition slide for a city yet to come. Screensaver architecture can be read cynically as low-cost aesthetic camouflage that may disguise speculative development to follow.…

Exhibition | Brook Andrew – Sanctuary: Tombs of the outcasts | Ian Potter Museum of Art

IMAGE: Brook Andrew, Tomb of the outcast I, 2015, photographic print. Courtesy the artist and Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne

A new exhibition at the Ian Potter Melbourne-based multi-disciplinary artist Brook Andrew explores an additional understanding of the ANZAC story, in a major new exhibition at the Ian Potter Museum of Art at the University of Melbourne. Sanctuary: Tombs of the outcasts challenges popular narratives around the ANZAC legend to reveal and highlight stories hidden over time. The exhibition seeks to give voice to other histories such as Indigenous and immigration that have become silent, and reveals Australia as a place of sanctuary.  It asks questions about what we remember, personally and collectively, and how we commemorate.The exhibition features new sculptural work from Andrew, as well as items selected by Andrew from his own archives and from the University of Melbourne Collections,…