We are now deep into the darkest, bleakest part of Winter, but don’t turn on the heater and rug up in bed with a cup of mulled wine just yet. No, the city of Melbourne refuses to admit defeat against the weather and is in fact putting on a great show to get you outside and wandering around: at night no less! So here’s hoping you have a good coat.
The Gertrude Street Projection Festival which ran from 10-19th July covering the length of Gertrude Street in Fitzroy and including over 35 sites, is just one of many events aimed at dragging you out of bed this Winter. This event is always a big crowd puller despite the chill, besides if you get too cold you can duck into one of the many bars and restaurants in the area to thaw out. It is a strange but wonderful combination of art and advertising. One cannot help looking wistfully in at the perfectly folded and cut shirts in the windows, or the glorious antiques that surround a political work. The choice of artworks sometimes enhances, sometimes juxtaposes with the shop windows, creating a more complex message than if the works were displayed simply in a gallery. Cold and otherwise dodgy lane ways are brought to life with beautiful landscapes. The commission flats are given a new lease of life and beauty with a huge projection spanning the entire building. Interactive artworks allow the audience to participate directly in the works and create an element of surprise and enchantment to the event.
But if you think that now it is over you can begin your hibernation, I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news. This weekend there is a much anticipated event. An event that some people (myself included) look forward to with more excitement than Christmas: Open House Melbourne. And with Open House Melbourne comes Nite Art, where for one night only the art galleries around the CBD open their doors, bring out the wine and generally get ready for one big party on Thursday 23rd July. You will be cold, you will get lost down some dark alley, you will possibly consume too much red wine and cheese, you will see great art, you will see disappointing art, and if we are honest there may be so many people crammed into each gallery that you won’t see any art at all. But you will have a fantastic night.
And then after a day off to recover it is Open House Melbourne. I have learnt a few important lessons from attending Open House Melbourne in the past. Choose a few places that are close together, you may end up lining up for a long time so it is best to cut out as much travel as possible. Look for places with self guided tours if you don’t want to be queuing for hours. Realise that you may not get to see everything you want to, but rest assured there is always next year!
Open House Melbourne 24 – 25 July
Nite Art 23 July