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Eight New Melbourne Art Exhibitions for September to Help You Ring in Spring

See influential pop art perspectives, discover German biospheres and consider video art exploring national identity.
By Hudson Brown
September 11, 2017

Eight New Melbourne Art Exhibitions for September to Help You Ring in Spring

See influential pop art perspectives, discover German biospheres and consider video art exploring national identity.
By Hudson Brown
September 11, 2017


See influential pop art perspectives, discover German biospheres and consider video art exploring national identity.

Getting out of the house just got a little bit easier as the sunny spring months have finally returned. To welcome back the much needed warmth and clear blue skies, we've got another selection of contemporary art exhibitions that are full of energy and creativity. September sees a host of inspired visual delights on display as the National Gallery of Victoria presents the luminous collage works of living legend Gareth Sansom, the TarraWarra Museum of Art brings together local and international artists who explore our connection to history, and Junior Space ponders the place of tropical plants. With an abundance of art to choose from, this month's exhibitions blossom with excitement and imagination.

  • 8
    Karen Salter: Who Remembers this House?

    Growing up in the southeastern suburb of Caulfield, which is rife with mid-century modernist homes, artist Karen Salter recalls an admiration for these places that display a “strong sense of design and theatricality”. The architectural style rose to prominence during the 1960s with the arrival of architects emigrating from across Europe who largely worked for clients within the large Jewish community. These stunning homes became symbols of the community’s success, with the former refugees overcoming the adversity facing their community back in Europe and in parts of Australia.

    Hosted at The Gallery at City Library in Melbourne CBD, Who Remembers This House? presents a series of Salter’s oil paintings celebrating the work of these architects and highlighting the optimism of past eras. Inspired by postcards of the ’60s with their perspective and colour, Salter’s paintings are emblematic of a significant period of architectural history, and their importance in her own memory.

    Who Remembers This House? runs from Tuesday, September 5 until Saturday, September 30.

  • 7
    Future Tense

    Launching the third edition of biannual video art celebration Channels FestivalFuture Tense combines video, installation and new technology to create hypothetical stories and explore issues of contemporary politics, histories and national identity. Taking place at The Substation, Future Tense currently features the works of Antoinette J. Citizen, Hannah Brontë, Yael Bartana (ISR) and Rachel Mason (US) — with more artists soon to be announced.

    Founded in 2012, this year’s Channels Festival program features 90 Australian and international artists across 14 varied events including exhibitions, screenings, workshops and online programs. The 2017 festival’s theme ‘futures’ invites a range of experimental and innovative artists to “explore the uncharted territory of histories yet to be established”.

  • 6
    Every Second Feels Like a Century

    Presented at Melbourne CBD’s West Space, Every Second Feels Like a Century sees a range of local artists from a host of creative backgrounds explore concepts of utopia and dystopia, survival and apocalyptic worlds. The exhibition suggests that objects have the power to reflect our histories, journeys and stories, and are clear “remnants of ideas, tools and thoughts scattered throughout cultures and time”.

    The eight exhibiting artists investigate this notion, with the presented works considering what’s important to cultures and society, as civilisations and ways of life become lost to time. Curated by Hannah Presley and Debbie Pryor, the exhibition showcases works by John Brooks, Nicholas Hovington, Alterfact, Vito Bila, Sarah Mary Chadwick, Angela Thirlwell, Adam Ridgeway and Jasmine Targett, who utilise mediums such as video art, 3D-printed sculpture, glass and metal works and more.

  • 5
    Leanne Failla: A collection of objects to retain from a collection of objects to discard

    Leanne Failla’s design practice involves investigating how objects play a role in shaping space and the ‘intangible’ influence objects play in our reading of physical locations. A collection of objects to retain from a collection of objects to discard sees Failla continue her long-held interest in this idea and introduces her own personal narrative by working with objects she owns and values – “reproducing their form using other objects in her possession”. By using methods of deconstruction in her art practice, Failla dissects how objects shape space and our experience of it.

    Failla has previously exhibited her works at the Sheraton Hotel, Seventh Gallery and c3 Contemporary Art Space and has collaborated with Artland as part of Melbourne Fringe Festival. Failla is also the co-director of interior design practice Itself Studio, which she heads alongside fellow designer Jaime Vella.

    A collection of objects to retain from a collection of objects to discard is on at Blindside Gallery and runs from Wednesday, September 13 until Saturday, September 30.

  • 4
    Henry Trumble: Impossible Plants

    Tropical plantations aren’t typically associated with western Europe, but over the years Berlin has developed a bit of an obsession with biospheres and rainforests where none naturally exist. Like a glasshouse, a biosphere is an artificial structure dedicated to housing a self-contained ecosystem mimicking specific weather conditions. Troubled by the unlikelihood of his tropical surroundings in Berlin, Adelaide-born artist and photographer Henry Trumble set about documenting the inauthenticity of these carefully curated settings and the thinly veiled attempts to hide the human elements of these ‘natural’ spaces.

    Taking a sardonic approach to the project, Impossible Plants sees Trumble use the examples of biospheres to explore humanity’s constant need to “collect, classify and display what it deems exotic and desirable”.

  • 3
    All That Is Solid...

    History is just the result of a few precarious moments – at least according to the latest exhibition at the Tarrawarra Museum of Art. All that is solid… is the third instalment of the Tarrawarra International series and presents the work of five local and international artists across film, photography, video art and more. The exhibition takes its cues from Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels’ seminal 1848 political pamphlet The Communist Manifesto, with the exhibiting artists producing works that imagine “connections between the past and the present”.

    Many of the artists have chosen to reappropriate historical events and archival fragments, while others have used current social and political struggles as a starting point for these provocative pieces. The numerous works take to the creative extremes, including sewn books, automated vacuum cleaners, cremated encyclopaedias and contrasting architectural and nature sites.

  • 2
    Ash Keating: Gravity System Response

    With an airless paint sprayer, prominent Melbourne-based artist Ash Keating creates towering works that emanate with colour and radiance. Entitled Gravity System Response, Keating first began the much-loved series in 2015, but over the last two years has continued to add more and more works, with the project now totalling 60-plus paintings. Newport’s The Substation presents the exhibition featuring six of Keating’s most popular pieces which best exemplify his immaculate intermixing of colour, while also demonstrating the meticulous process of painting, layering and waiting to apply each coat.

    For more than a decade Ash Keating has exhibited extensively across Australia and internationally, showing his large-scale work in both galleries and site-responsive and collaborative art projects. His art explores a range of social and environmental issues, such as systems of production and consumption, climate change, urban gentrification and waste and sustainability.

  • 1
    Gareth Sansom: Transformer

    Gareth Sansom is one of Australia’s most respected painters who, over the past 60 years, has merged his admired pop culture perspectives with the lurid, the erotic and the philosophical. Across his paintings, collages and watercolours, Sansom displays a strong sense of self-investigation, frequently including disguised self-portraits and blurring the lines between the abstract and the actual. On display at NGV Australia starting in mid-September, Gareth Sansom: Transformer explores the entirety of Sansom’s celebrated career, presenting more than 130 of his paintings, photographs and paper works – including many that are yet to be seen by the public.

    Sansom studied at RMIT University during the early 1960s before rising to popularity as an avant-garde artist drawing inspiration from the likes of Pablo Picasso and Jean Dubuffet. His works are held in numerous private and public collections, including New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and the National Gallery of Australia.

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