29 September

Schoolhouse folk

Sanctuary

Schoolhouse Studios, a not-for-profit group in Melbourne focused on helping emerging artists find affordable workspaces, is announcing a full month ahead with both musical and visual shows to tempt you through its Collingwood doors this Thursday, October 2.

The night opens with an exhibition featuring the works of emerging Melbourne-based artists Elizabeth Barnett and Heidi Barrett from 6-8pm, showcasing their respective explorations of solitude and the abstract.

Following the exhibition opening, Schoolhouse and Two Bright Lakes put their heads together to present Schoolhouse Folk; an intimate, stripped-back night of music featuring four of Melbourne’s biggest folk entities: Brendan Welch, Hello Satellites, Nick Huggins and Seagull. Entry is just $10.

The night promises to be a heterogenous exploration of medium, expression and statement, embodying the mission statement of what the relatively new Schoolhouse Studios aims to provide. The folk is for one night only but Barrett and Barnett’s work will be on display at Schoolhouse Studio’s Long Division Gallery until October 17 so head down to support Melbourne’s thriving artistic support network and get a potent dose of good music and stirring art along the way.… Read more

11 September

Melbourne will be the first city to host the UK Imperial War Museum’s WW1 Centenary Exhibition

WW1 Centenary Exhibition

Herbert Hillier sketched the battlefield of Gallipoli just hours after the first landing on 26 April 1915. It’s rough, but there’s no mistaking the columns of smoke rising above the water and the debris floating below. After a century, fragments of memory like these can still feel unnervingly close.

Hillier’s sketch – along with a German calvary helmet (pictured), prosthetic hand and fragments from the Red Baron’s fallen aeroplane – was unveiled this morning at the Melbourne Museum.

The reason? For the first time ever, London’s Imperial War Museum will send a specially curated exhibition to nine cities across the world – with Melbourne as the first stop. Reliving the personal stories, collective experience and huge implications of the First World War, the WW1 Centenary Exhibition will open in April 2015 to coincide with the centenary of the Gallipoli landings.

“The First World War changed the world; it cost 16 million lives and affected the lives of many more,” said Diane Lees, Director-General of the IWN over a video recorded in London.… Read more

10 September

Dame Nellie Melba’s Coombe Estate opens to the public

Coombe Estate blog

If there’s one thing to know about Dame Nellie Melba – arguably Australia’s most famous opera singer – it’s that the lady had style. Rising to prominence in the late 19th century, Melba also became known for her refined taste in art, fashion and décor, and for her lush, seven-acre gardens surrounding her home in Coldstream, just adjacent to the Yarra Valley.

Tomorrow, Coombe: the Melba Estate opens to the public as a gallery, providore and suitably high-class restaurant. The grounds are free to explore – as is the gallery – and for $20, you can take a guided historical tour (Wed-Sun, 11am & 2pm), which includes a morning or afternoon tea.

Our tip: put on your best party hat, grab some buddies and make a fancy day out of it. After you’re finished roaming the grounds, stroll into the home and admire the gallery. The collection includes Melba’s 14-piece Louis Vuitton luggage set, Hermes riding boots and Cartier handbags from Paris (we told you she had style). Inside the providore, you can pick up exclusive Melba memorabilia and jams, and in the adjacent restaurant, you better believe Peach Melba will make an appearance on the menu.… Read more

13 August

ArtBoy gallery hosts Batman 75th anniversary tribute exhibition

Batman

Holy nostalgia, Batman! Has Gotham’s brooding vigilante really been taking down baddies for 75 years?

As the anniversary approaches, the pop culture fiends at Prahran’s ArtBoy Gallery would hardly miss an opportunity to put on a Batman retrospect. Marc Huntington, co-owner and curator of the exhibition, feels that it’s the superhero’s humanity that renders him such a timeless character: “Fans respect Batman because he isn’t from another planet with superpowers nor a genetically mutated human. Batman is a man, an extremely rich man, protecting Gotham and its citizens against villains all the while wrestling with his own demons. Oh, and gadgets. You gotta love Batman’s gadgets!”

The exhibition, titled Riddle Me This? will feature artworks from over 40 professional Australian and international artists (rest assured there’s no creepy Deviant Art fan drawings here) who’ve all represented the caped crusader in different ways. Some hark back to the high camp perfection of Adam West’s ’60s Batman, while other might take inspiration from Tim Burton’s 1989 film, which brought us Jack Nicholson as the Joker and that indomitable Prince soundtrack.… Read more

13 August

David Bowie Is exhibition comes to Melbourne in 2015

David Bowie Is

ACMI’s big 2015 Winter Masterpieces exhibition remains a secret right up until the media are led into a dark cinema above Federation Square. Excited whispers begin to circulate – we’ve been told that the exhibition will focus on an extraordinary, influential artist and pop culture icon.

MP Louise Asher, Minister for Innovation, Tourism and Major Events steps up to make the announcement. Some of the whispers were right – it could only be David Bowie. “This will be an unprecedented insight into the life, music and art of one of the world’s great performers,” she says. ACMI’s five-month loan will be the only showing of the exhibition in Australasia.

The glittering lightning-flash photograph from the British pop icon’s 1973 Aladdin Sane cover fills the screen, and the first notes of ‘Let’s Dance’ start to play. We’re plunged into a quick-fire montage of Bowie’s many personas: the androgynous, alien Ziggy Stardust; the stylish, monochrome Thin White Duke;  the spiky-haired goblin king of the 1986 film Labyrinth.Read more