It could be safe to say that Melbourne’s feline fever is running hotter than ever. Only last week a Brunswick gallery hosted the Cat Stuff Market, where you could find anything from cat prints to cute tabby toys, while the interest in the CBD’s Cat Café is off the scale.
As of early September, Collingwood’s Off the Kerb gallery is making its first foray into cat-themed artwork. It’s in celebration of the team’s 100th exhibition, and of their cat-like resilience in the face of the walls crumbling down around them.
We mean that literally. In December last year the gallery experienced severe structural damage when its west wall’s external brick facade collapsed crushing the building next door. The gallery was shut down by the City of Yarra and the structural engineer mentioned he hadn’t seen such a collapse in his 15 years at Yarra. Fortunately no one was injured, but the ramifications of this on a not-for-profit artist-run space was severe. Gallery manager Dan Dealy and director Shini Pararajasingham were forced to cancel shows that had been booked six months in advance and focus on the rebuild. It turned out to be a record effort, with the gallery reopening after six weeks.
Come and show your support to both the gallery and Ingrid’s Haven – a no kill cat shelter that all the proceeds of 100 Cats will go to. We’re not just talking about cats eating cheezburgers or running around in boots (although we’re not excluding this). There’ll be print, performance and video art from 53 world-class artists including Aaron Billings, David Lee Pereira, Emily Wright, Kat Scarlet, Mulga and Sally Land, rendering cats in ways you never thought possible.
100 Cats exhibition, Off The Kerb, Sep 5-19.