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10° & RAINY ON FRIDAY 19 JULY IN MELBOURNE
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Five Sensory Art Experiences in Melbourne You Can Immerse Yourself in This Winter

Pull on your winter coat to see projections across the city, sit down to a five-course art dinner in a CBD bunker and walk through a room of rain (without getting wet).
By Lauren Vadnjal
July 08, 2019
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Five Sensory Art Experiences in Melbourne You Can Immerse Yourself in This Winter

Pull on your winter coat to see projections across the city, sit down to a five-course art dinner in a CBD bunker and walk through a room of rain (without getting wet).
By Lauren Vadnjal
July 08, 2019
  shares

FIVE SENSORY ART EXPERIENCES IN MELBOURNE YOU CAN IMMERSE YOURSELF IN THIS WINTER

Pull on your winter coat to see projections across the city, sit down to a five-course art dinner in a CBD bunker and walk through a room of rain (without getting wet).

If you're on the hunt for the perfect activity for a cold, grim day, we have five right here — and they'll make you forget all about the fact that it's winter. That's because all of these art experiences are designed to take you out of your every day and into another reality of bright colours, lights and falling water. You can see the city transformed under projections (in both the north and the west), walk through a rain installation without getting wet, or sit down to an immersive dinner in a bunker underneath Fed Square.

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    Actual rain might be a bit of a drag, but this new immersive rainfall-inspired installation is anything but. Random International’s famed captivating artwork Rain Room is heading Down Under for the first time ever, hitting St Kilda this August. Imagine the magical feeling of walking through a 100-square-metre field of continuous rainfall, without getting the slightest bit wet. Rain Room’s water droplets are guided by responsive technology, ceasing to fall wherever they sense movement. It’s a physical, multi-sensory experience that sets out to explore ways in which technology transforms relationships between humans and nature.

    The internationally acclaimed work will make its home in the Jackalope Pavilion, a pop-up purpose-built space on Acland Street designed by March Studio. A ticket will allow you to spend 20 minutes in the Rain Room. It will be open Sunday–Wednesday 10am–6pm and Thursday–Saturday 10am–9pm until the end of summer 2020.

    READ MORE BUY TICKETS
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    Gertrude Street Projection Festival 2019

    The Gertrude Street Projection Festival will light up the night for the 12th year in a row when it returns to Fitzroy this winter. Running for nine nights from July 26–August 3, the free community-driven event will once again showcase spectacular light compositions from local and international artists up and down the northside drag. Some of the glowing works you’ll see around the suburb include a video installation by Papua New Guinean artist Taloi Havini; Voice, a piece by Yandell Walton with a focus on climate change; an eerie spirit person by printmaker Tom Civil; and a virtual reality ‘cabinet of curiosities’ that combines walking, touching and listening to stories.

    In addition to the 22 projections — which will illuminate everything from shopfronts to footpaths to the trees in the Atherton Gardens and even a skate crew — this year’s festival will also feature a program of special events, including parties, pop-ups, and live music and DJ sets, plus a few culinary offerings to tempt you out into the cold from 6pm till midnight each night. Kicking off the festivities will be a free opening night party, complete with a krumping session, at Foresters Hall and it’ll wrap up with a block party — with five projections and five hours of performances — at Atherton Gardens.

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    Sensory Underground

    This August, Melbourne’s Fed Square is shaking up its usual offering to deliver a dazzling program packed full of installations, activities and one-off events as part of its first Anything But Square Festival. One of these will see guests embark on a futuristic bunker feasting adventure, dubbed Sensory Underground. This mysterious dinner is being hosted by modern Japanese favourite Tokyo Tina across a series of 90-minute sittings from July 31 to August 11. And it will be anything but normal.

    First, you’ll enter the space through Platform 13 at Flinders Street Station and make your way through to an unforgettable subterranean space deep below Fed Square. There, you’ll be served up a four-course dinner, with each future-leaning dish inspired by current food forecasts for the year 2045, crafted around sustainable food practices, minimal energy use and seasonal, local produce. Think casual dining crossed with Blade Runner. While you’re tucking into your innovative feast, you’ll also be treated to a program of multisensory experiences, from some of Melbourne’s hottest creative talent no less. There’ll be lighting installations by artist Kit Webster, virtual reality elements from PHORIA Studio’s Trent Clews-de Castella and Joseph Purdam, and visual delights from the team at Studio SPGD.

    READ MORE BUY TICKETS
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    WinterWild 2019

    Victoria’s answer to Dark Mofo, WinterWild, is returning to Apollo Bay for two weekends this August. While last year’s after-dark winter arts festival was structured around the death and birth, this year’s theme is ‘visions and ecstasies’. Creeping into the coastal shire on the eastern side of Cape Otway, the festival will take place on the weekends of August 16–18 and August 30–September 1. Each weekend will begin with braziers on the beach, before unleashing a vivid program of music, performances, feasting and workshops — all focused on the idea of peering into the darkness for inspiration, revelations and surprises.

    Standout events on the program for the first weekend, running from August 16–18, include Visions of Excess, which combines kaleidoscopic visuals with the music of Black Heart Death Cult and Flyying Colours; a suitably psychedelic tribute to Jimi Hendrix; and, following on from last year, another immersive (and haunting) blend of projections, lights and sounds in the quarry. Two weekends later, across August 30–September 1, WinterWild will celebrate the music of David Bowie; pair a definitely-not vegan-meal with burlesque and puppetry at the decadent Feastiality; and make shapes outside, by the water and in the cold evening air, at Moon Garden.

    READ MORE BUY TICKETS
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    West Projections Festival 2019

    This year’s West Projections Festival will light up Footscray, Seddon and West Footscray every night from August 9–18. If you aren’t familiar with the annual after-dark festival, it bathes the inner west with light with a slew of specially commissioned works of pop-up public art.

    The festival, which is produced by Victoria University and local arts collective Wynter Projects, is returning for its sixth year in 2019. While the full program hasn’t been announced yet, you can expect it to take over streets, bars and even supermarkets across the area. Last year there were spoken word performances, roving projections, a VR dance party and a pop-up bar — so you can expect that (and more) this August.

    Images: Shuttermain. 

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