Beat’s guide to ‘now showing’ art exhibitions in Victoria

Beat’s guide to ‘now showing’ art exhibitions in Victoria

Tarrawarra Biennial  

The Tarrawarra Biennial is back in 2018, having launched the exhibition From Will to Form as part of Melbourne Art Week in early August. Nestled in the hills of the Yarra Ranges, Tarrawarra Museum of Art is displaying 23 diverse artists just over an hour away from Melbourne. Beginning in 2006, this year’s biennial explores the force of will as a means to propel forward through life, using artistic expression to convey this idea. Including 19 new commissions, and curated by Emily Cormack, the biennial also includes artist talks you can attend. Ranging from performance pieces to sculpture, painting and film, here are some of the works you can expect to see at this years Tarrawarra Biennial:

Contemporary artist Mike Parr is the first piece to be encountered upon entering the exhibition. You will hear it before you see it, as Parr’s video piece White depicts the act of vomiting on a loop, rotating continuously all day. Parr also includes a performance piece Whistle White. Here, delegated performers will whistle for three days, varying in tonality, pushing the limits of the body physically and mentally. Sure to say, the Tarrawarra Biennial will excite and test all your senses.

Also included in the exhibition is artist Lindy Lee. Presenting her installation piece Neither Choice, Nor Chance, Lee throws liquid bronze onto the floor after periods of meditation, creating bronze objects that reflect Buddhist flung-ink methods. The installation sees the objects displayed in a circular arrangement on the floor that extends into a splatter across the gallery wall. Lee’s three-dimensional objects are delicate and intricate, yet also bold in their ability to depict movement and action.

2018 Tarrawarra Biennial is on until Tuesday November 6, open Tuesday-Sunday 11am-5pm.

If you’re after another way to welcome the end of the rainy season, we’ve got you sorted with our guide to other art exhibitions currently showing throughout Victoria.

McClelland Sculpture Park + Gallery 

If you’re feeling like a road trip, wander down to regional gallery McClelland Sculpture Park and Gallery in Langwarrin. Enclosed in a native bush park, McClelland displays free exhibitions for the public as well as their permanent collection of Australian sculpture. Under curator Simon Lawrie, the latest show has been up for just a few weeks, including artist Sanné Mestrom. Mestrom also makes an appearance at the Tarrawarra Biennial; yet McClelland is exhibiting her mind-boggling, textual and tactile Black Paintings. Made from spun wool and mounted onto steel frames, these pieces are also accompanied by geometric gouache paintings. In the other gallery space, artist Annette Warner provides an archive of Gordon Ford, celebrating his design work of the Australian landscape. Visitors can expect to see film not only on the walls but the floor, paintings, samples of flora and an installation of rocks that are watered by the gallery to track growth.

McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park is a quick trip down Peninsula Link, open Tuesday- Sunday 10am-5pm.

National Gallery of Victoria

Looking for something a little bit different to your usual gallery wander? We recommend venturing to NGV International to see Rirkrit Tiravanija’s performance piece Untitled Lunchbox. Commenting on the process of art making itself and challenging the interactions that occur between a viewer and an artwork, Tiravanija’s participatory piece invites randomly selected viewers to share Thai food in the gallery space. So, head on down to NGV at 12.15pm for some culture and a feed.

Untitled Lunchbox is showing at the NGV until Sunday October 7, 2018.

Heidi Museum of Modern Art

Once a hub for Australian artists, Heide Museum of Modern Art has transformed the previous living spaces into galleries to showcase modern and contemporary art. One of the current exhibitions is Design for Life: Grant and Mary Featherston. Displaying an array of modernist furniture ranging from lounge room and dining room settings, to sculpture and marketing designs, it’s hard to ignore the urge to sit down and try out the inviting curvaceous chairs. While you’re there, take a walk through the vegetable garden and the quaint home of John and Sunday Reed, where the work of prior resident artists who were imperative to the development of modern Australian art can be seen.

Heide Museum of Modern Art can be accessed from the Western Freeway, a short trip from Melbourne.

Bendigo Art Gallery

Curated by Australian artist and winner of the Archibald prize, Ben Quilty alongside Michael Dagostino, Bendigo Art Gallery unveils the life and work of an artist working from Bali’s Kerobokan prison. Enter Myuran Sukumaran: Another Day in Paradise. The works encompass the artist’s life, displaying powerful portraits that speak of humanity and compassion, as he used painting as a form of communication under the pressure of a justice system overhanging with the death penalty. Displaying a collection of artists, the works will be shown until Sunday September 16, so get there quick.

Bendigo Art Gallery is open every day from 10am-5pm

Mailbox Art Space

Looking for easily accessible, alternative public art? Take a walk through Melbourne’s Flinders Lane arts precinct to Mailbox Art Space. Here, artists experiment with site-specific work tailored for restored mailboxes within the Pawn House building. Currently on display is Stephanie Granlund’s Lekker, that takes the viewer through the impressions the Netherlands left on the artist during her recent visit. Granlund transforms her discovery of sugary foods from the Netherlands from their taste and edibility to materiality, distorting the recognisable consumer goods, tainting them with a sense of obscurity.

Lekker is on show until Sunday September 2.

Shepparton Art Museum

Delving into the surreal and uncanny, the unconscious and illusionary, Shepparton Art Museum’s Intimate Realities: Recent Works from the SAM Collection allows viewers to take a trip into artists’ minds and imaginary realms. Featuring varying forms such as video, sculpture, screen-printing, ceramics, photography and painting, the works ask viewers to take closer consideration of artistic invention. The exhibition includes iconic Australian artist John Perceval, whose abstractive forms are emblematic of the avant-garde Angry Penguins group of the ‘40s. This exhibition takes on a sensory overload giving glimmers into alternate perceptions that will stay with you after you leave.

Just a two hour car or train ride from Melbourne. Intimate Realities runs until April 2019.


Taking on a different approach to the exploration of the surreal, Blindside gallery presents Play Sawtooth X Blindside. This compilation video encompasses three works that interplay with the subconscious. Red roses are eroticised in lapping water, provoking a sense of unease with a haunting soundtrack filling your ears. Glittering morph suits dance to footage from the Wizard of Oz in a mind-altering distortion oozing with horror-some connotations, accompanied by a melancholic Somewhere Over the Rainbow’, attributing to the film’s title Dark Side of the Rainbow. Cut to a fish shop where the selling and purchasing of fish becomes an allegory for sex and race. For 18 minutes of uneasy, unpredictable, uncontrollable, yet completely gripping film be sure to check out Blindside. It’s unforgettable and unexpected.

Blindside gallery is open Tuesday-Saturday 12-6pm