Five Reasons to Head to Melbourne's New Artbank Opening This Weekend

Lovers of contemporary Australian art take notice — the gallery's newest venture is one that's bound to get you up and about.
Hudson Brown
Published on March 23, 2018

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For the uninitiated, Artbank was formed in 1980 as a government visual arts support program and remains one of the largest collections of contemporary Australian art anywhere in the world. Both supporting Australia's visual artists and giving the public the opportunity to see (and loan) some of the best works this country has to offer, Artbank is the ideal way to get behind-the-scenes of Australia's art scene.

Launching its brand new Collingwood premises with a massive one-day event, Artbank Open House presents 2000+ works in its stunning new purpose-built space designed by award-winning architecture practice Edition Office. Opening its doors on Saturday, March 24, the facility will also reveal a new large-scale work by artist Sam Songailo, plus there'll be tunes provided by DJ Tanzer, a free burger giveaway from Beatbox Kitchen and talks and tours to help you find your way around the massive warehouse art space. Read on to discover what's in store for the big opening.


Sam Songailo: Digital Wasteland.


For those unfamiliar with Sam Songailo's immersive work, Artbank will remedy that. For years now, the artist has been creating large-scale wall paintings both in galleries and on the streets. His work takes on an almost alien appeal with the likes of Splendour in the Grass, Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia and Melbourne's ACCA just some of the places Songailo's work has been showcased. Artbank Open House will unveil another vast work with the community project space being transformed by Songailo's distinctive and evocative style.



Food trucks are a dime a dozen these days, but Beatbox Kitchen has remained as popular as ever since first hitting the streets in 2009. A regular at your favourite music festival and open-air events, they'll be setting up shop at the event and serving up delicious burgers and fries all day long. Their brand of fresh beef and mushroom burgers, plus a great selection of sauces is a pretty great way to take a timeout from exploring the huge collection of contemporary art. What's more, Artbank is giving away free Beatbox burgs, happening from midday until the burger supply runs out.



Having converted the Collingwood-based warehouse into a world-class event space, gallery and artist studio, local award-winning architecture practice Edition Office worked closely with Artbank to give the facility a top-notch design to match the art inside. Get in quick to be the first to visit Artbank's lively community project space, which has been transformed by Melbourne-based artist Sam Songailo in a mesmerising fashion. And throughout the day, you'll also get to hear from the likes of Artbank director Tony Stephens and senior curator Miriam Kelly, plus Edition Office directors Aaron Roberts and Kim Brigland.



Artbank has one of the largest collections of contemporary Australian art anywhere in the world, and for its debut Melbourne event, Artbank Open House will showcase more than 2000 pieces from some of Australia's most admired artists and emerging talents. As the gallery settles into its new digs and works on becoming a hub for local artists, this open house-style event is the ideal way to take a peek behind-the-scenes and get familiar with one of Australia's best art collections. The new facility aims to make it easy to engage with the art, focusing on the stories within the works rather than testing your art history knowledge.



Channelling the great pop divas of the past, DJ Tanzer's music would slot just as easily into the theme song for a James Bond movie as it does on hazy dance floors around Melbourne and Sydney. Born in rural New South Wales, raised in the impassioned setting of Rome and now a resident of Melbourne since 2016, the DJ has a reputation as an on-stage queen, which has rapidly grown with her repertoire of melodramatic songs detailing love and heartbreak. Tanzer, aka Hayley Foster, will be gracing Artbank Open House with her presence, putting on a thumping soundtrack of dark and seductive tunes throughout the open house.


Artbank's one-of-a-kind facility is bound to make a splash in the Melbourne art world. Head to the opening event on Saturday, March 24 and keep up-to-date with the gallery by following #artbankau #artbankopenhouse.

Published on March 23, 2018 by Hudson Brown
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