out of office | Visiting NGV

In Melbourne we are lucky to have a thriving and diverse creative scene. Starting with today’s post we will profile our time exploring this scene in our new series, out of office. First up, a visit to the National Gallery of Victoria with Jess our graphic designer.

The NGV has been an ever present part of my life, like a cultural play ground that I have grown with. From my earliest memory searching for the small mouse doors inlaid in the skirting boards pre renovation at St Kilda Road to sketching works such as The Pioneer with my high school art class, the NGV is a place that opened my eyes to the world and fostered my love of art and design.

As an adult, my appreciation changed somewhat after studying architecture. As someone with a nostalgic streak, I took me a bit of time to appreciate the renovation and the division of the collection between the new International Gallery and Ian Potter Gallery at Federation Square. Now, I enjoy the different atmospheres that both offer. My favourite thing to do is to explore the gallery alone if I have a spare hour or two, which I did on a recent overcast Wednesday afternoon.

When I visit I like to explore one or two exhibitions, on this day it was the NGV’s current major exhibition ‘Andy Warhol – Ai Weiwei’ and Jess Johnson’s Wurm Haus.

Wurm Haus is an immersive space by artist Jess Johnson. Visually rich from the moment you enter the space, the walls of the small gallery are adorned in illustrated wall paper that clashes, yet enhances the geometric floor pattern creating a mind warping experience. Approaching the pod in the centre of the room, visitors don virtual reality headsets and go down the rabbit hole that is the 360 degree world of the main piece Oculus Rift.

For me there was so much to like about this immersive experience. The exhibition turned every inch of one of the smallest galleries in the NGV into an engaging and thought provoking environment.

Conversely, the Andy Warhol – Ai Weiwei exhibition spans over several rooms including an installation from the Forever Bicycles series in the main court. With over 300 works collectively from both artists careers, it is almost impossible to take everything in during a single visit, especially given the popularity of the exhibition. Viewing the parallels between the careers and subject matters of both artists is an intriguing and intelligently presented experience.

To view the current exhibitions at the National Gallery of Victoria visit their website