Lantern parade brings art students together

(left to right) Fleur Summers and RMIT student Robyn Phelan

On Monday 15 July Swanston Street came briefly alive with the beat of a drum, the bright splash of pink and red banners, masks, lanterns and costumes against the grey Melbourne winter’s day.

The lantern parade that proceeded from the RMIT School of Art studio in Orr Street down past the RMIT Gallery exhibition Melbourne Modern and onto the Buxton Contemporary Gallery for installation in the Bauhaus Now! exhibition in Southbank. The festivities would have made the designers of the Bauhaus proud.

To mark the centenary of the legendary German Bauhaus design school, art students from multiple universities gathered at RMIT to make colourful lanterns, culminating in the parade through the city.

The lanterns were created at workshops organised by Associate Professor Mikala Dwyer, Ceri Hann, Fiona Hilary, Grace McQuilten, Rose Lang and sculpture lecturer Fleur Summers at the RMIT MAPS (Master of Arts in Public Spaces) studio. The lanterns will be displayed in the Mondspiel (Moon Play) installation by Mikala Dwyer and Justene Williams’ for the upcoming Bauhaus Now! exhibition at Buxton Contemporary, curated by Ann Stephen.

Around 40 students from RMIT, VCA, and QCA University participated in a lantern-making workshop in June, spending a week each making lanterns to carry in the parade. Workshop speakers included Ciaran Begley (RMIT), Claire Lamb (VCA), Mark Shorter (VCA), Julian Goddard (RMIT), Phillip Goad (Melb Uni), Justene Williams (QCA).

The hand-made lanterns were ceremonially installed in the Mondspiel exhibition at Buxton Contemporary, ahead of the public opening on 26 July.

Sculpture lecturer Fleur Summers said that the Bauhaus was renowned for its celebrations of belonging and there were regular lantern and kite and costumed dances.

Her sculpture The Supreme Red Rods features in the RMIT Gallery Melbourne Modern exhibition that celebrates the contribution of European émigré artists who taught at RMIT after 1945.

“The European approach was more focused on crafts and techniques, and as an academic now myself, I can see my students are interested in focussing on a return to skills.”

(left to right) Mikala Dwyer, Fleur Summers, Justene Williams and VCA student Janno McLaughlin.

CAST OUT LOUD: Show like a Bauhausler! Bauhaus Lantern Parade.

Date: Monday 15 July (subject to weather conditions)

Time: 3 pm

Location: Commencing outside RMIT Gallery, proceeding through the city to Buxton Contemporary, Southbank.


Melbourne Modern: European Art and Design at RMIT since 1945

Dates: Until 17 August

Location: RMIT Gallery, 344 Swanston Street, Building 16.


Bauhaus Now!

Date: 26 July – 20 October

Location: Buxton Contemporary, Cnr Southbank Boulevard & Dodds Street Southbank


Exhibition 21 Jun 2019 – 17 Aug 2019

Melbourne Modern: European art & design at RMIT since 1945

In the wake of World War II hundreds of exiled and displaced European artists, architects and designers arrived in Melbourne and sought…