Opening nights: Streets of Papunya & Out of the Matrix

Please join us at RMIT Gallery on Thursday 5 May from 6-8 pm when Martin Bean CBE, Vice-Chancellor and President, RMIT University, launches two new exhibitions:


FRIDAY 6 MAY – STREETS OF PAPUNYA Curator and artist talk

Featuring: Vivien Johnson and Charlotte Phillipus Napurrula

Streets of Papunya includes some of the first women painters in the desert, who joined the original Papunya art movement in the early 1980s, and the daughters of many of the ground-breaking Papunya Tula artists of the 1970s.

Charlotte Phillipus Napurrula, a painter and executive member of the Papunya Tjupi Art Centre, will be travelling to Melbourne for the opening of the Streets of Papunya exhibition at RMIT Gallery, and will speak about the work in the exhibition along with eminent Papunya scholar curator Vivien Johnson in this floor talk.Free – bookings required


Thursday 12 May | 5.30-6.30pm: Panel discussion – The expanding print

Join printmakers exhibiting in Out of the Matrix for this panel discussion on ‘the expanding print’.

Chair Jazmina Cininas, panel: Joel Gailer, Bridget Hillebrand, Clare Humphries,  Andrew Tetzlaff.

One of the interesting things about artists who are print informed is that they are quite taken with media that do not appear to immediately relate, such as the moving image.

Notions of enactment and performance resonate with many artists who utilise a matrix base. A printed mode of production may bring with it a consciousness of the moment of contact between plate and paper as an event, as a ritual or even an embrace. Free: bookings essential


Artist Julio Falagán’s donations help RMIT students

money handover falagan art copy centre

(left to right) Kim Baldwin ‎Assistant Director, Advancement Operations, RMIT and Claudia Llanza, Cultural Department, Consulate General of Spain in Melbourne, with money donated during the Power to the People! exhibition.

Crowdfunding, philanthropic support, corporate partnerships – usually it’s artists seeking funding for their work from audiences. But visiting Spanish artist Julio Falagán left a big legacy at RMIT after his September 2015 exhibition Power to the People! at RMIT Gallery.

In a grand gesture, the artist – from one of Europe’s cash-trapped countries – turned the tables and donated money from his exhibition to disadvantaged students.

Falagán’s work questions power and the established status quo through humour and irony. During his exhibition Power to the People!  late in 2015, he invited audiences to take his work off RMIT Gallery’s walls and – for a coin donation – photocopy prints for their own art collections.


Donations for artwork: (far left) artist Julio Falagán asked audiences to donate a gold coin in return for copies of his artwork at his 2015 RMIT Gallery exhibition. And people power responded with generous donations. Photo: Vicki Jones Photography.

“The total amount raised through this exhibition was $693.70, a fantastic outcome! ” said Kim Baldwin, Assistant Director, Advancement Operations, RMIT.

“Thank you again, to Julio Falagán, the Consulate General of Spain in Melbourne and  RMIT Gallery for organising this and matching donations.

“The Scholarship Philanthropy Fund through RMIT Gallery’s Power to the People exhibition will make an incredible difference to RMIT students. It’s a great show of support for our students!”


Every year, RMIT’s Scholarship team receives around 5,000 eligible applications for scholarships, but only 1,500 receive funding. By donating to the Scholarship Philanthropy Fund audiences at the Power to the People exhibition helped create more scholarships for students. Now that’s Power to the People, by the people!

bucket of money

Generosity – money donated to the RMIT Scholarship Fund during the Power to the People! exhibition in 2015.

“Scholarships are great enablers of talent. They give bright students access to the life-changing experience of tertiary education and all the life-long advantages that flow from that experience,” Ms Baldwin said.

“Scholarships also empower students and show them that the University believes in their potential. This is an incredible motivator for students from disadvantaged backgrounds who may not have family support or financial backing.”

For more information on giving to RMIT, please visit 

As part of the Power to the People! exhibition, a public forum and drinks were held on Thursday 24 September, with the topic ‘Questioning Power: The media and popular culture’, being considered by artist Julio Falagán, journalist and academic Dr Antonio Castillo and artist and architect Ciro Márquez.


Power to the People! An audience crowds in to listen to Julio Falagan, Antonio Castillo and Ciro Márquez discuss themes and ideas arising from the exhibition at RMIT Gallery.


Vale Inge King: renowned sculptor & former RMIT lecturer


Inge King, Bagatelle [1st version], 2004-11 Bronze 56 x 66 x 66 cm Purchased through the RMIT Art Fund, 2012 RMIT University Art Collection Accession no: RMIT.2013.9

Renowned Australian sculptor Inge King, whose monumental sculpture Forward Surge  on the lawn at the Arts Centre Melbourne is much-loved by locals and tourists, died peacefully on April 23, at the age of nearly 101.

While studying in London, the German-born artist met Australian printmaker and painter Grahame King and they returned to his hometown Melbourne in 1951, where they both spent much time teaching at RMIT. Inge taught sculpture at RMIT  from 1976 to 1987, and was awarded an honorary doctorate from RMIT in 1993. Grahame taught lithography at RMIT from 1966-88.

Two of Inge’s works are held in the RMIT Art Collection, which provides a considerable overview of Australian art history and includes some of the most highly regarded and successful artists that both the country and the University have produced. Its purpose is to tell the history of the University through the creative output of its staff and alumni, and to reflect RMIT’s core values of innovation, creativity, sustainability and social engagement.

King’s sculpture Daruma, purchased by RMIT in 1980, is featured in A Skilled Hand and a Cultivated Mind: A Guide to Architecture and Art of RMIT University. The authors note it “reveals King’s sophisticated approach to materials and understanding of abstract form.”

Along with Vincas Jomantas, Teisutis Zikaras and Lenton Parr, Inge King helped move Australian sculpture into the contemporary modernist milieu.She was part of the Centre 5 group whose mission it was to help foster greater public awareness in contemporary sculpture.

King’s work was seen recently in the 2014 RMIT Gallery exhibition Revelations: Sculpture from the RMIT Collection, curated by RMIT Collections Coordinator Jon Buckingham.Given that the majority of RMIT’s collection of sculpture comprises work spanning from the height of modernism in Australia to the present day, Revelations revealed a microcosm of practice and generational change during the last half-century.


(Foreground) Inge King, Bagatelle [1st version], 2004-11 Bronze 56 x 66 x 66 cm, featured in Revelations: Sculpture from the RMIT Art Collection, RMIT Gallery, 2014. Photo: Mark Ashkanasy.

In his catalogue essay, Buckingham writes “the Centre 5 group – of whom Vincas Jomantas, Inge King, and Lenton Parr are represented in this exhibition – formed with the goal of establishing an entente between abstract sculpture and architecture. In doing so, they worked to popularise abstraction in a deeply conservative climate.

“While by no means the only abstract sculptors working in Australia at the time, the impact and originality of Centre 5 is impossible to deny…As teachers at RMIT their influence played an acute role in shaping the following generation.”

RMIT Gallery Director Suzanne Davies said that Inge King was a very lively contributor to a round table discussion during the curation of the 2003 exhibition Sculpture at RMIT During the Jomantas Years 1961-1987 (RMIT Gallery, 21 July – 13 September 2003).

“Inge was the voice of the highly respected senior artist at the gallery, and her insights were so important to the shape of the exhibition,” Ms Davies said.


Inge King, Daruma, 1978 Steel and paint on aluminium 27 x 35 x 69 cm Purchased by the RMIT School of Art, 1980 RMIT University Art Collection Accession no: RMIT.1980.4

In her obituary of King, The Age Deputy Arts Editor Dewi Cooke noted that the sculptor “mastered the formalist language without becoming a formulaic formalist”.

“With her death, Australia has lost one of its most significant sculptors who created some of her finest pieces in the final few decades of her long and fruitful life,” Cooke wrote.

Final days: Elizabeth Gower & Richard Bell exhibitions


Richard Bell: Imagining Victory, installation image by Tobias Titz, RMIT Gallery, 2016.

Don’t miss the final days of the RMIT Gallery exhibitions – Elizabeth Gower: he loves me, he loves me not, Quiet Voices and Richard Bell: Imagining Victory.

Exhibitions end Saturday 23 April at 5 pm.

In his insightful review of Richard Bell’s Imagining Victory exhibition at RMIT Gallery, The Age art critic Robert Nelson writes “Bell is funny in a pessimistic way, with black humour if you like. He trades in caustic counterpoint rather than conciliatory gestures.”Read more

About the exhibitions

Richard Bell: Imagining Victory

Leading Australian artist Richard Bell’s trilogy of video projects digs beneath the veneer of cultural integration to expose how racism can be deeply embedded and passed on to future generations.

Quiet Voices


Nirnay (Decision) the debut film of director Pushpa Rawat, is set on the outskirts of Delhi, and explores Pushpa’s life journey and that of her young, educated female friends. Quiet Voices installation image at RMIT Gallery by Tobias Titz, 2016.

These two works of art by Mithu Sen and Pushpa Rawat poetically address issues women face with obligation, patriarchy and the inter-generational dynamic.

Elizabeth Gower: he loves me, he loves me not

In the handwritten phrase ‘he loves me, he loves me not’ Elizabeth Gower poses the question 21,319 times symbolically representing a lifetime of re-evaluation and wavering, resilience and resolve in seeking approval from the generic male ‘he’.

In his review of  Gower’s powerful exhibition, The Age art critic Robert  Nelson writes “Gower’s critique of patriarchy emphasises both the embeddedness and the absurdity of love mixed with power.” Read more.


Elizabeth Gower: he loves me, he loves me not. Photo: Tobias Titz, RMIT Gallery, 2016.

Elizabeth Gower artist talk: Friday 15 April


Elizabeth Gower with her installation ‘he loves me, he loves me not’. Photo: Margund Sallowsky, RMIT Gallery, 2016.

Join RMIT alumnus artist Elizabeth Gower at RMIT Gallery on Friday 15 April from 1-2 pm as she discusses her current exhibition ‘he loves me, he loves me not’ in which she wrote the phrase 21,319 times symbolically representing a lifetime of seeking male approval.

Dr Elizabeth Gower is an award winning artist who teaches at the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne. She has exhibited internationally and in numerous solo and major group exhibitions. Gower’s installation at RMIT Gallery is an extension of a small perishable work initially created in Paris in 2007.


Elizabeth Gower’s exhibition at RMIT Gallery, ‘he loves me, he loves me not’. Installation image by Tobias Titz, 2016.

Gower’s monumental work ‘he loves me, he loves me not’ developed from chalk inscriptions on black walls and as a performance included in ‘Live in the Limo’ (auspiced by AC Institute, New York) at the 2009 Armory Show in which participants were invited to pluck petals off a daisy while asking the question.

In this floor talk, Gower will discuss how the opportunity to develop the project into a large scale, site-specific installation (consisting of 20 lengths of semi- transparent drafting film, each approximately 80 cm x 600 cm, suspended between the ceiling and the floor, each inscribed with the handwritten phrase ‘he loves me, he loves me not’) has had a direct correlation to the concept and content of the work.


Elizabeth Gower ‘he loves me, he loves me not’ exhibition image, Margund Sallowsky, 2016.

Gower says her the ideas behind her installation go beyond romantic love. “There is an obvious reference to the game of picking petals from a daisy while chanting the phrase ‘he loves me, he loves me not’ to determine devotion or rejection. But my exploration of the phrase addresses issues that reach beyond mere speculation of romantic love and desire.”

“In the installation, the semi transparency of the drafting film, and the lightness of the text create a subtle, ethereal fragility. I quite like the idea that the whole enterprise can just be erased, which equates with the notion that the desire for validation can also be impermanent and erased.”

What: Elizabeth Gower artist talk

When: Friday 15 April

Time: 1-2 pm

Where: RMIT Gallery, 344 Swanston Street, Melbourne

Bookings: Free.