Whether art imitates life or vice versa, Fitzroy is Melbourne's very own outdoor gallery. Constantly abuzz with all things strange and new, whether it's contemporary, post modernist, or interpretive work you're after, this North-of-the-river hub has its forward-thinking finger on the pulse. Never one for modesty, the area is heaving with exhibition spaces that feed a constantly hungry audience; boring and bland struggle to survive, while thought-provoking is the plat du jour. Here's our Urban List of the top galleries in Fitzroy.
A space that has seen many an exhibition, what was once Gorker Gallery and, more recently, Odessa, has transformed into Fitzroy's Strange Neighbour. The newest resident sees Linsey Gosper and Ash Kerr combine a gallery and photo studio complete with its own dark-room. As professionally trained fine art photographers, the owners have a vested interest in all current and impending shows. A simple, open plan layout lets the work take the lead, while both amateur and advanced photographers can hire out the darkroom to develop and print their images.
COMING UP: Don't miss out on upcoming exhibition, The Dark Arts, featuring Mia Salsjo, Vivian Cooper Smith and?Terry Taylor! From 19 July to 10 August.
Where: Strange Neighbour | 395–397 Gore Street in Fitzroy
Contact: 03 9041 8727
Opening Hours: Wednesday to Saturday 11–6pm
More of an educational institution for the visually-enthused, one of the oldest galleries in our list has played an important role in inspiring the evolution of contemporary art, both at home and overseas. Offering exhibition, studio and cultural exchange programs, visitors can expect acclaimed artists across three gallery spaces. Opened in 1983, the gallery is comprised of sixteen non-resident artists, and one resident studio for international guests. Gertrude Contemporary focuses on art as a collaborative collection of curators, writers, cultural partners and patrons. If you're looking for an education in contemporary art, make this your next stop.
NOW SHOWING: Don't miss Vocal Folds, a video installation exhibition by three influential international artists, which delves into voice, and both its spatial and physical qualities. Runs until 20 July.
Where: Gertude Contemporary | 200 Gertrude Street in Fitzroy
Contact: 03 9419 3406
Opening Hours: Tuesday - Friday 11.00 - 5.30 pm / Saturday 11.00 - 4.30 pm
Centre for Contemporary Photography (CCP)
Supporting innovative photographers since 1986, this non-profit gallery is considered Fitzroy's premier exhibition space. In an unassuming white building, lies a world of constant wonder; upon entry the space is much larger than its modest exterior suggests. With regularly updated shows, you can spend hours perusing photo-based arts from emerging to established artists from all eras and genres. As a government supported initiative, CCP encourages public education via five exhibition spaces and a program that includes individual, group and weekly Artist Floor Talks, and a renowned annual lecture series. Check out the tiny shop for a great variety of books and journals!
NOW SHOWING: Prepare for a cultural awakening by viewing the photographic works of David Rosetzky 1998 – 2013. Runs from 25 July to 15 September.
Where: CCP | 404 George St in Fitzroy
Contact: 03 9417 1549
Opening Hours: Wednesday - Friday 11am - 6pm / Saturday - Sunday 12 - 5pm
As a voice for the community, the back entrance gallery steers clear of commercial perspectives, boasting a team of contemporary artisans each contributing a great understanding and different perspective. Launched by Alexander Mitchell and Izabel Caligiore, key Australian artists including Ghost Patrol, Rone, Reka and Meggs (Everfresh crew) exercise creative control. As a space dedicated to presenting the natural environment of today's artists, Backwoods Gallery is run by creatives who are at the heart of the art scene. With walls dedicated solely to street art, you can expect work that crosses many genres and uses multiple style and mediums. Its laid back atmosphere is a testament to its creative direction and perspective.
COMING UP: In August, don't miss the Shohei Takasaki show, highlighting his fascination with desire and sexual attraction. From 16 to 26 August.
Where: Backwoods Gallery | 25 Easey Street in Collingwood
Opening Hours: Thursday - Friday : 3 - 6 pm / Saturday - Sunday : 12:00 – 6 pm
New Hunting Ground
This warehouse cum café cum gallery space is one spot you'll want to keep an eye on! New Hunting Ground is a brand new street and contemporary art gallery, showcasing the best in emerging and established talent. Locals will already know the pokey Juddy Roller café, complete with an astro-turf terrace, and a constantly revolving selection of stencil and graffiti art adorning the brick-wall exterior. Head to Fitzroy's industrial laneway to witness a forward-thinking curation of works by some of the world's best!
NOW SHOWING: Head down to check out the group show featuring Adnate, Ears, Max Berry, Jaws and Tom Ferson! On until further notice.
Where: New Hunting Ground | Corner Johnston & Chapel Street in Fitzroy
Contact: 0415 603 068
Opening Hours: By appointment only
Image Credit: 02varvara