Art & Design

   

Melbourne Now is now

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Melbourne Now is daylight’s answer to White Night Melbourne, the cultural festival that took the city hostage earlier this year. More manageable and minus the mosh pit, Melbourne Now does what it says – showcasing the works of nearly 400 local artists across a plethora of interactive spaces in the NGV, Ian Potter Centre and Federation Square.

A good place to start is the NGV, where large, psychedelic communal spaces have been erected in the foyer. There’s something deliciously rebellious about playing ping-pong in Melbourne’s most prestigious gallery, and this you can do, as well as stringing your own necklace with trinkets preselected by Meredith Turnbull.

Trippy installations pepper the upper levels, including Patrick Pound’s Gallery of Air – a seemingly random assortment of items that sees a whoopee-cushion, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air screenplay and Wedgwood vase fall unexpectedly into the same category.

Whether functional or abstract, there is huge emphasis on the innovative craftsmanship abundant in our city, with contemporary jewellery, sculptures and textiles giving eclectic form to this virtual wonderland.

And the Ian Potter Centre is where the Mad Hatter’s tea party is at. The interiors of a share house litter the foyer, with a pizza box-riddled living room, shagpile hallway rug, and the pièce de résistance – a banquet table heaving with dinner party leftovers. And it’s all made of icing sugar. Yes, icing sugar, crafted by the Hotham Street Ladies, who like to make art that is ‘a little bit disgusting.’

More absurdity lies upstairs, with Julia deVille’s Degustation, a lavish Victorian dining room brimming with taxidermied animals, unnervingly arranged on platters. Melbourne’s rich architectural culture is extensively celebrated, and endless cavities display designs and concepts that visually and audibly challenge the senses.

As if sneakily designed for those that would avoid galleries, Melbourne Now is an engaging, crazy adventure through the trendy treasure trove that is our city. Be sure to see it. Now.

Melbourne Now is running until March 23. To find out more visit ngv.vic.gov.au/melbournenow.


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