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.

Open Studios in the West 


  Open Studios in the West, presented by Maribyrnong City Council, as part of the Big West Festival 2015. The Open Studios weekend is in its eight year. This weekend a number of artists will open their studios to the public. The studios range from a back shed to a lounge room, gallery studios and warehouses. Watch a demonstration, listen to a spot talk, purchase a work directly from the artist or attend a free workshop. Explore the diverse artist studios located in and around Footscray with a self-guided tou. Date: Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 November, 10am-4pm See more at

Panel Discussion | Australian Surrealism | NGV International

Max Dupain
Australia 1911–92
Surrealist study 1938 
gelatin silver photograph 
45.9 x 35.5 cm (image)
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra (NGA 2007.949)
Purchased with the assistance of James Agapitos OAM and Ray Wilson OAM, 2007

Surrealism had a profound impact on Australian art and creative life. The movement encouraged young artists such as Sidney Nolan, Albert Tucker and James Gleeson to challenge conventions, forever changing the Australian art world. Discover the rich legacy of Surrealism on Australian art, past and present, in a conversation between an artist, curators and an academic. Speakers Tim Schultz, Artist Lesley Harding, Curator, Heide Museum of Modern Art Dr Anthony White, Senior Lecturer, School of Culture and Communication, The University of Melbourne Simon Maidment, Curator, Contemporary Art, NGV Date: 2pm Saturday 28th August 2015 Venue:  NGV Australia Booking required: $16 M / $20 A / $18 C Book online.

Open Studios | Gertrude Contemporary Art

Gertrude Contemporary

Saturday 21st November 12-4:30pm | 200 Gertrude St, Fitzroy Facebook event page:   Gertrude Contemporary’s Studio Artists will open their studios to the public for the afternoon of Saturday the 21st of November 2015, from 12 noon until 4:30pm. The annual Open Studios day is an exclusive opportunity to visit the sixteen studios upstairs, view works in progress, and meet with the artists. It complements the annual Gertrude Studios exhibition, which is currently on display. Gertrude’s current Studio Artists are: Brooke Babington, Ross Coulter, Sarah crowEST, Eric Demetriou, Fayen d’Evie, Søren Dahlgaard, Debris Facility, Hamishi Farah, Helen Grogan, Minna Gilligan, Ry Haskings, Claire Lambe, Adelle Mills, Tully Moore, Sean Peoples, and Danae Valenza. In Studio 18, a project entitled…

Panel Discussion | The Judgement of Paris: Melbourne’s Love Affair with French Theory on the Occasion of Roland Barthes 100th Birthday | CCP Melbourne


  Kevin Murray, Ann Debono and Bryan Cooke, will share their perspectives on three different aspects of French theory, with an overarching nod to Roland Barthes.  Kevin Murray will link back to the 1980s, specifically the Judgement of Paris series at Gertrude contemporary and the local relevance of French Theory for Melbourne artists and commentators. Ann Debono will address the way that Barthes, Derrida and Baudrillard all suggest a suspicion of images as ideological programming devices, and Bryan Cooke of the Melbourne School of Continental Philosophy will look from Barthes to Ranciere. Entry is by gold coin donation, bookings can be made on our website:

Lecture | The Robert Wilson Annual Decorative Arts Lecture: Amarna Palace Ware – decorated ceramics of Egypt’s Golden Age – Colin Hope | NGV International

EGYPT, Malqata, Palace of Amenhotep III, Blue-painted ibex amphora, New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, reign of Amenhotep III, c. 1390–1353 BCE, Nile silt, white slipped and decorated, 39.5 x 21.0 cm diameter, Rogers Fund, 1911 (11.215.460), Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

The study of ancient Egyptian decorative arts tends to focus upon manufactures in glass, precious stones and glazed composition, such a jewellery, containers and sculptures. Ceramics, which were generally undecorated, are viewed as utilitarian and often ignored. Yet during the New Kingdom – Egypt’s Golden Age – elaborately decorated pottery was produced for use on festive occasions within palaces, temples and the homes of the elite. The best quality was made in the period of King Akhenaten and Queen Nefertiti, their likely son Tutankhamun and the king’s father Amenhotep III (1390-1327 BCE), in the royal workshops using a pale blue cobalt pigment and with a wide range of other techniques. It was distributed around the country and has been found…

Lecture | Surrealism and its Australian Accent – Ken Wach | Rae Alexander Lecture at NGV International


The La Trobe University Art History Alumni, with the National Gallery of Victoria, presents the eighteenth annual Rae Alexander Lecture. This year we welcome La Trobe University Alumnus, Associate Professor Ken Wach as our speaker. The title for this year’s lecture is “Surrealism and its Australian Accent”. Ken completed his PhD and Masters of Art History at La Trobe University before going on to become Associate Professor, Principal Research Fellow and Head of the School of Creative Arts at The University of Melbourne where he taught Art History for 35 years. Ken has conducted research all over the world at renowned institutions such as Columbia University and The Museum of Modern Art in New York and has also consulted and…

Lecture Tonight | The disaffection from the project of portraiture: Romney’s wild humours and Gainsborough’s graphic inventions – Deanna Petherbridge| University of Melbourne

Thomas Gainsborough, "Upland Landscape with market cart, cottages and figures", 1778, ink, chalk and gouache, 27 x 34.9 cm, National Gallery of Victoria

This public lecture will compare the rival eighteenth century portraitists Thomas Gainsborough and George Romney, united by their disaffection from portrait painting but revealing contrasting constructions of creativity in their sketches and drawings. Gainsborough, who was in love with rural life and his invention of British landscape, played with new techniques and combinations of materials with innovative skill and gestural verve. He gave away many of his drawings to friends Romney, the intense and obsessive melancholic was in search of inspiring historical or social themes and his mercurial sketches in endless private notebooks are attempts to capture inspirational moments at speed in order to serve profound artistic and philosophical ends. His obsessive graphic re-workings of themes are in some respects…

Lecture| Commemorating The Great War in a Community Museum | University of Melbourne

Date: Wednesday, Oct 2015 6:00–7:30PM Venue: Theatre A, Elisabeth Murdoch Building, University of Melbourne Bookings: This lecture will present a community-engagement project which was focused on the development of the museological skills of volunteers running the LifeCare retirement village’s War Museum. University of Melbourne conservation students have worked with residents and volunteers for the past 5 years to help them establish good museum practices. The students’ appreciation of their positive contribution to stakeholder engagement, community museums and commemorative displays deepened as residents demonstrated the links between their wartime experiences and the collection. With increasing professional activity the museum’s public profile expanded, inducing more residents to contribute more time, objects and stories to the museum. The project’s beneficial outcomes—educational, personal and community—demonstrate that…

Exhibition | Ronnie Van Hout; Martine Corompt and Philip Brophy | CCP

Image: Ronnie van Hout
Creature Mummy 2015
detail from The Dark Pool
PhotoTex polyester fabric, 100 x 80 cm, courtesy the artist

Exhibition Dates: 2nd October 2015 to 15th November 2015. CCP Australia, 404 George Street, Fitzroy New exhibitions have opened at CCP in Fitzroy. Official opening next weekend with talks from the artists. Saturday 10 October 2015 | Opening: 12pm | Free Artist Floor Talks: 1pm Gallery 1 | Ronnie van Hout | The Dark Pool Presented by Centre for Contemporary Photography in association with Melbourne Festival. In his latest exhibition, New Zealand artist Ronnie van Hout considers the point where art crosses a line—and society turns against it. In 1971, successful American toy company Aurora and acclaimed film director Stanley Kubrick both released products into the world that generated strong negative reactions. A firestorm of controversy saw Aurora close its doors,…

Lecture | Re-imagining Heritage Interpretation: Enchanting the Past-Future – Russell Staif | University of Melbourne


The lecture will canvas the issues raised in the speaker’s recent book, Re-imagining Heritage Interpretation; Enchanting the Past-Future (Ashgate, 2014). One of the peculiar features of the so-called ‘heritage industry’ is the separation between art galleries, museums and cultural heritage as fields of knowledge production. The latter lags behind the museum/art gallery sector partly because of institutional borders and bureaucratic silos and yet all three make claims about protecting ‘things’ from the past for the present/future. All three sectors ‘do’ conservation, education, research and stage/perform the material for visitors. Interpretation of objects/places/monuments for visitors/tourists, while common across all heritage sites (whatever the definition), has at non-museum heritage sites been locked into an information/education/on-site learning paradigm for decades. A critique of…

Lecture | Design and Violence – Paola Antonelli | NGV International

Paola Antonelli. Copyright Robin Holland. Image via

Design has a history of violence. Aside from commercial and aesthetic successes, many design objects have ambiguous relationships with violence, challenging us with moral ambiguities and inconsistencies. MoMA curator Paola Antonelli explores how design can provide extraordinary insight into society and human nature, uncovering the dark side of the world’s ‘second oldest’ profession. Paola Antonelli is Senior Curator, Architecture and Design and Director of Research and Development at New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Antonelli’s work investigates design’s influence on everyday experience, advocating for often overlooked objects and practices. Antonelli recently began adding to the MoMA Collection a range of important contemporary designs – videogames, the @ symbol and Google Map drop pin. Speaker Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator, Architecture…

Talks | Echo Chamber: Emerging Research on Photography | CCP

Image: Jane Brown, Decommissioned Art History Library, University of Melbourne, 2012-2013, courtesy of the artist.

CCP’s Echo Chamber represents a series of occasional, ongoing public programs showcasing current emerging research in all areas of photography, including historical research, technology, communications and contemporary discussion. Date: Wednesday 7 October, 6pm Venue: Centre for Contemporary Photography, 404 George Street, Fitzroy Applications to present research for future Echo Chamber public programs are welcome. CHAIR Michelle Mountain, Gallery Manager, Centre for Contemporary Photography SPEAKERS HUGH HUDSON | The Backwards Glance: Art History and Australian Photography Taking as its point of departure Helen Ennis’ 2011 article ‘Other histories: photography and Australia’, this presentation will look at how Art History as a discipline has and has not contributed to our understanding of Australian photography, and how, in any case, photographers in Australia have engaged…

Exhibition | Technologism | MUMA

Jan Dibbets
TV as a Fireplace
video on television set 
distributed by LIMA, Amsterdam

Exhibition Dates: 3 October – 12 December 2015 Opening function: Saturday 10 October 2015, 3-5pm Curated by Charlotte Day Artists Cory Arcangel (US), Dara Birnbaum (US), Chris Burden (US), Ian Burns (AU), Antoinette J. Citizen (AU), Simon Denny (NZ), Jan Dibbets (NL), Aleksandra Domanović (SI/DE), Harun Farocki (DE), Benjamin Forster (AU), Isa Genzken (DE), Greatest Hits (AU), Martijn Hendriks (NL), Lynn Hershman Leeson (US), Matt Hinkley (AU), Jenny Holzer (US), Edward Kienholz & Nancy Reddin Kienholz (US), Oliver Laric (AT), Mark Leckey (UK), Scott Mitchell (AU), Rabih Mroué (LB), Henrik Olesen (DK), Nam June Paik (KR/US), Nam June Paik & John Godfrey (US), Joshua Petherick (AU), Matte Rochford (AU), Jill Scott (AU), Richard Serra (US), John F. Simon Jr. (US),…

Lecture | Scorn, Greed, Malevolence & Mischief: Goya’s graphic expression of emotions – Deanna Petherbridge | University of Melbourne

Francisco Goya, No es siempre bueno el rigor, 1816-1820 c.

This presentation will examine the consummate skill with which Goya represents emotions in his late private albums and some of the print series associated with these drawings. From 1795-6 Goya borrows the figure of the bruja or witch as an historically subversive topos for portraying his disgust with a corrupt clergy, monarchy and cruel social order. As the proportions of his figures change in the album drawings so his ability to suggest subtlety of facial and bodily emotions in his brush and pen work deepens. Language also becomes more intense for Goya, isolated by his total deafness, and the texts appended to drawings and prints are variably metaphoric, playing with language/visual puns or seeming blocks to clarity of meaning. Like…

Symposium | Heritage Destruction in the Middle East: Beyond the Media Hype | Deakin University City Centre

Deakin_Heritage SYmposium

The Middle East Studies Forum at the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation welcomes you to a public half-day symposium. Convened by Dr Benjamin Isakhan and Professor Tim Winter. This half-day symposium focuses on the recent heritage destruction in Syria and Iraq by ISIS. Presenters will bring to the table a variety of interpretations on the factors driving the destruction and the challenges of mounting effective responses. Venue: Deakin University City Centre Date: 15th Oct 2015 5:00pm (3 hours) Website: Topics and Speakers include: Panel 1: Documenting and Interpreting the Destruction Heritage Destruction under the ‘Islamic State’ – Dr Benjamin Isakhan, Deakin University What does ISIS Communicate Through Iconoclasm? – Dr Antonio Gonzalez, Deakin University ISIS Attacks on…