Art & Design

Add Some Culture To Your Life With These 12 Exhibitions Happening In Melbourne This Month

By Claudia Trotter
4th Nov 2019

The Christmas period is looming and pretty soon you will be knee-deep in turkey ordering and present why not use this month to get out and see some art before it all gets a bit hectic? There’s plenty to see- from A Mile in my shoes set in a giant shoe store, exhibitions to celebrate young and emerging Melbourne artists and a few oldies that you may not have seen yet—Rain Room and Kaws. 

Here are 12 of the best exhibitions happening in Melbourne this November. 

Colour Blind

This collection of recent works is by Varun Sinh, a colour-blind artist whose own impairment has led him to question the way the world perceives colour. The series of acrylic paintings explore the concept of colour as an evolutionary construct which everybody, including animals, see things differently. Come and witness this powerful solo exhibition, all created in 2019 during Brisbane-based artist's sabbatical. Not one to miss.

What: Colour Blind
Where: B-Side Gallery, Level 1, 121 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
Where: Opens Friday 8 November, 6 - 9 pm
For more information, click here.

Rain Room Extended Season

Beginning in 2005, Rain Room has already gained thousands of fans across the world in major cities including London and Los Angeles and it has been in our very own Melbourne for a few months now. This immersive art installation invites people to walk underneath a downpour of rain minus the inconvenience of getting wet, with the added challenge of navigating through the darkened space.

Random International focuses on the audience experience, allowing people to live out their superhero dream of walking through the rain and magically coming out the other end dry. Due to its huge success, they’ve extended the exhibition for just a little bit longer over the summer season so don’t miss out.

What: Rain Room
Where: Jackalope Pavillion, Corner of Jackson and Acland Street, St Kilda
When: Friday 1 November-Tuesday 17 December
For more information, click

One Night In Footscray

For the third year running, come and join in a night where live music, art installations and food combine in the heart of Footscray.

One Night showcases the work of local and emerging artists encountering art in public spaces, and is free and welcome to people of all ages. Watch as the hidden bars, galleries and all things in between come alive under the night sky. 

What: One Night in Footscray 
Where: Footscray
When: Friday 22 November
For more information, click

Off The Kerb

Off the Kerb is hosting four different exhibits this month, all focusing on the themes of our interactions between identity and nature.

At the front of the gallery, you will find ‘Visits’ which celebrates the Victorian Kulin nations landscape and invites people to meditate on our connection with the land as shared tenants, all in a collection of oil and gouache paintings. Out the back, don’t miss ‘Sleeping in the Forest’ which celebrates the mysterious cycles of nature through collage. 

What: Off Kerb’s November Exhibitions
Where: Off the Kerb Gallery, 66B Johnston Street, Collingwood
When: Friday 1 November-Thursday 14 November
For more information, click

Marvellous Melbourne: Its Art And Soul Exhibition

What better way to revel in our favourite city than to see it captured in an incredible array of paintings, drawings, prints and photographs from 39 prominent Victorian artists.

Its Art and Soul Exhibition is back for another year to highlight everything that we love about Melbourne- its competitive sport, the funky CBD laneways, the brunch scene and so much more. Come and witness this unique collection of artistic expressions showcasing what they believe encapsulates Melbourne life, both past and present. 

What: Marvellous Melbourne: Its Art and Soul Exhibition
Where: Pan Pacific Melbourne, 2 Convention Centre Place
When: Daily in November
For more information, click

Sesame Street: 50 Years And Counting

Elmo, Cookie Monster and Big Bird—the three staples of your childhood are back in a colourful extravaganza exhibition curated by the renowned Eddie Zammit.

Over 50 uber-talented artists have collaborated to present to you all your favourite characters from The Street in murals, prints and original photographs from the archives. Even if Oscar the Grouch is your fave, you won’t want to miss this trip down memory lane.

What: Sesame Street: 50 years and counting
Where: Melbourne Central
When: Friday 1 November 2019-Friday 24 January 2020
For more information, click

Interface: Technology And Human Experience

Ever wondered what on earth we did before mobile phones and Insta? City Library is offering a masterclass to imaginatively answer this enormous question, giving up and coming graphic artists in Melbourne the opportunity to learn from the experts. Peek into the world of a graphic artist by examining the process they take to create a piece from the very first sketch to the finished product, all on the theme of technology and how we have evolved with it. 

What: Interface: Technology and Human Experience
Where: City Library, 253 Flinders Lane
When: Saturday 23 November-Wednesday 8 January
For more information, click

A Mile In My Shoes

From England to Brazil, this exhibition has travelled worldwide and finally launched in Australia so Melbournians can experience what it is like to be in somebody else’s shoes, quite literally.

Set in a giant shoebox, visitors can put on different pairs of shoes and headphones to hear the stories of the 35 owners, all surrounding the theme of water. Choose between an 81-year-old rower, a marine biologist or even an English migrant with a fear of water- whoever it is, you won’t want to miss out. 

What: A Mile in my shoes
Where: Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St Kilda Road
When: Friday 1 November-Sunday 17 November
For more information, click

KAWS: Companionship In The Age Of Loneliness

He’s not the new kid on the block at the NGV anymore, but so far he’s taken Melbourne by storm. Brian Donnelly, aka KAWS, has put on an exhibition featuring an all-star cast of hybrid cartoon and human characters drawn from pop-culture animations which are displayed in life-like sculptures and paintings.

KAWS wants his work to celebrate generosity and support for others and the human need for companionship which is too often substituted for social media interactions. This one is a must-see.  

What: KAWS: Companionship in the Age of Loneliness
Where: National Gallery of Victoria, 180 St Kilda Road
When: Until Thursday 30 April 2020
For more info, click

Civilization: The Way We Live Now

An international photography exhibition has recently hit NGV Australia in the form of Civilization: The Way We Live Now. The exhibition features the work of more than 100 contemporary photographers from Australia, Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe, and explores the shared aspects of life in urban environments. Check it out this week, or keep this one saved for the summer diary. 

What: Civilization: The Way We Live Now
When: Until 2 February 2020
Where: NGV Australia, Federation Square
For more info, click here.

Olympia: Photographs By Polixeni Papapetrou

Following the birth of her daughter Olympia in 1997, Polixeni Papapetrou captured her life through photographs depicting a world from play-acting, imagination and storytelling to adolescent issues of identity and their role in society.

This exhibition is the first major museum retrospective of the Australian photographer, who passed away in 2018, and it features her work of Olympia as well as her other well-known pieces. This powerful display of artistic talent is a personal reflection of all that life has to offer, including all the ups and downs Papapetrou endured- go check it out. 

What: Olympia: Photographs by Polixeni Papapetrou
Where: National Gallery of Victoria, 180 St Kilda Road
When: Until Sunday 29 March 2020
For more info, click

Never The Same River

Anna Schwartz Gallery is celebrating its 35th anniversary with a wide-ranging exhibition featuring more than 50 Australian and international artists.

Never The Same River traces the history of four galleries spanning the 1980’s to the present and is in collaboration with award-winning architecture firm, Denton Corker Marshall who designed the gallery in Flinders Lane in 1993. With a stack of big names including Joel Elenberg, Janet Laurence and Mike Parr, you can get your free history fix over the next few months right in the heart of the city. 

What: Never the Same River
Where: Anna Schwartz, 185 Flinders Lane
When: Until Saturday 21 December
For more info, click

Strapped for cash already? Here are a bunch of free things to do in Melbourne this month.

Image credit: KAWS: Companionship In The Age Of Loneliness | NGV

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