When we went to Melbourne for the end of year family shindig, we went to the National Gallery of Victoria. I wanted to go to see something in particular… and, how embarrassing is my ignorance… it was showing in a completely different art gallery. So I saw this exhibition instead. I think it must be clear to regular readers that I am not art-knowledgeable. But there were some things I thought might be of interest to you, dear readers. This image is part of an exhibit by Richard Mosse criticising and commenting on the Australian government’s policies on asylum seekers, which really do beg to be criticised. It was interesting to see so many people stopping to watch these works, showing images of the offshore detention centres our government has taken many steps to stop us seeing.
There were some serious design works of extreme fashion, like these rather amazing pieces of engineering by Iris van Herpen.
There was an entire room full of couture dresses and accessories by Guo Pei, called Legend. They were inspired by a visit to the Cathedral of Saint Gallen in Switzerland. The room was dark so it was hard to do justice to these completely different but equally extreme pieces of fashion. I grew up in a place where Christianity was the dominant religion and for much of my life heard other religions commented on largely or only from a Christian and Western perspective. It was taken for granted that a Christian, Western perspective could speak to/about every other global context. I found it really interesting to see the way the artist commented on and allowed their imagination to run through the cathedral as a source of inspiration–without having it as a religious heritage first and foremost. Commenting on it from a completely different perspective and making use of this imagery.
This room full of taut strands of yarn by Pae White was pretty entertaining!
These two outfits were some of my favourites. They are Nick Cave’s Soundsuits. I loved all those buttons…
Alexandra Kahayoglou’s Santa Cruz River is a huge textile work–a rug with mirrors–that intrigued people, as you can see. I found Kahayoglou’s commentary of climate change heartbreaking.
I loved these basketry pieces. I was a little taken aback at their use of the plastic PET bottle as a starting point. They were so complex and interesting, and the use of mirrors and lights made them all the more splendid. This is a collaboration between Alvaro Catalan and the Bula’bula Artists.
These images by Louisa Bufardeci are stitched into a mesh background. They depict in needlepoint the sites where boats of asylum seekers have sunk and people have died at sea trying to reach Australia, as they appear on Google Earth images. No comment needed. I think.