RMIT Gallery’s White Night Story – come on in!

The White Night is still young – it might be midnight, but RMIT Gallery is open for another 7 hours of White Night light projection and interactive bioart. Come on in!

From Girlie Werewolves to dazzling audio reactive light displays – from the time the doors opened at 7 pm, RMIT Gallery attracted a crowd to the far end of the Swanston Street White Night precinct – and made an bold impact.

Crowds were gathered before the doors opened and filled the last night of the Morbis Artis: Diseases of the Arts exhibition – queuing for up to 45 minutes to get into ((20hz))’s red/blue ‘nauseating’ sound-light artwork.

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Outside, the Storey Hall annex dazzled with printmaker Jazmina Cininas’ towering Girlie Werewolves offering a perfect photo opportunity as audiences jumped up on a bench and posed in the red-yellow-orange glow of the light projection.

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Crowds also patiently waited their turn to get inside RMIT Gallery, listening to Mitchell Nordine’s SciFi-organic sounds which ignited Andy Thomas’ digital forms that exploded over the austere Storey Hall facade.

Around the corner, Viral Screens, by Morbis Artis curators Sean Redmond and Darrin Verhagen, intrigued. There is plenty of time to enjoy the artworks – come and see us!

RMIT Gallery facade transforms on White Night

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If you’re heading to White Night Melbourne on Saturday make sure you pay RMIT Gallery a visit.

From dusk till dawn, the RMIT Gallery facade will be transformed into organic digital audio reactive light display called Ectoplasm by MindBuffer & digital artist Andy Thomas.

Thomas is a digital artist who creates intricate artwork and specialises in particle simulation based motion graphics, inspired by nature and technology.

MindBuffer is the combined music programming and synaesthesia exploration of RMIT lecturer Dr Joshua Batty and Mitchell Nordine. They met studying at RMIT University early 2010 and clicked instantly. Last year at White Night, they transformed RMIT’s iconic Storey Hall (home of RMIT Gallery) into a dazzling abstract light projection. Watch the video below:

“Last year was the first time we had the opportunity to projection map the entire facade of a building, which was an amazing opportunity offered by RMIT Gallery,” Batty said.

“This year, we have taken a more organic approach with the visuals, and moved beyond the geometrical tricks. What we plan is to work with the features of the facade and bring it into the three dimensional plane.

“We will also be adding an important audio component.”

Thomas is excited about using Storey Hall as ‘an enormous canvas’ for his work.

“I am so used to doing work on the small screen and this is very different. I can have organic elements growing up the building, and it’s going to very luminous as well.”

Nordine, who is handling the audio component, promises a cross between “Sci-Fi and organic”  and says people will be surprised by how the addition of sound will change their experience of the light display.

“Sound brings you a lot more into the space. Humans evolved to perceive space through sound, so it this additional element will be transformative,” Nordine said.

Anyone who has worked White Night knows the endurance required. MindBuffer and Thomas are no strangers to working festivals, having recently performed at country Victoria’s Rainbow Serpent Festival of electronic music and art.

Batty has a few tricks up his sleeve after being bed ridden for a week after last year’s White Night, which saw him working on top of the building opposite Storey Hall for the duration. It took its toll.

“This year, we have added a generative story engine, which will reveal different aspects throughout the night, without needing us to input new work the whole event,” Batty said.

“At White Night, people tend to come and go and experience lots of different things. We realised that no one sits in front of one work for a long period, so this year, we have taken that in account, along with a watchful eye on our own health.”

While you are at RMIT Gallery, step inside our Hybrid Worlds events and visit the final night of the interactive bio-art exhibition Morbis Artis: Diseases of the Arts, and watch ‘What big teeth you have’ an iteration of Jazmina Cininas’ Girlie Werewolf Project which will morph the face of the Storey Hall annex (next door to the Gallery) into a shape-shifting roll call of lupine ladies.

Listen to MindBuffer & Andy Thomas talk about Ectoplasm and the challenges of transforming the Storey Hall facade for White Night Melbourne.

When: 7pm Saturday 18 February to 7am Sunday 19 February
What: Ectoplasm, by MindBuffer & Andy Thomas
Where: RMIT Gallery facade (Storey Hall ) 344 Swanston Street Melbourne.

RMIT Focus on Indigenous culture: Ngarara Place & Streets of Papunya

The launch on May 30 of RMIT University’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) and opening the newly completed Indigenous Garden – “Ngarara Place” – on RMIT’s City campus has kept the focus firmly on Indigenous culture during the busy events as part of the current RMIT Gallery exhibition Streets of Papunya.

The launch of RMIT’s RAP and the opening of “Ngarara Place” featured special guest performer Dan Sultan to celebrate National Reconciliation Week on our City campus.

Dan delighted audiences when he performed at the November 2013 opening of the RMIT Gallery exhibition Music, Melbourne + Me.

The RAP and RMIT’s current endeavours in reconciliation are the culmination of a 25-year journey that the University is determined to continue into the future.

Likewise, the Streets of Papunya exhibition is part of RMIT Gallery’s long standing commitment to showing exhibitions of Indigenous artwork, and works by Indigenous artists. Here are some of the photos of the Streets of Papunya exhibition opening and public programs, which included visits by Papunya artists.

Indigenous art exhibitions at RMIT Gallery:

Streets of Papunya: The reinvention of Papunya painting

6 May – 11 June 2016

Celebrating the renaissance of painting that has occurred in one of the best-known locations of art production in Central Australia, since the establishment of the Papunya Tjupi Arts Centre in 2007.

Richard Bell: Imagining Victory

11 MARCH – 23 APRIL 2016

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. See the virtual tour of the exhibition.

Garnkiny: Constellations of Meaning

15 SEPTEMBER – 08 NOVEMBER 2014

This exhibition included works by Gija artists, both past and present, which explored aspects of the rich and significant story Garnkiny Ngarranggarni (Moon Dreaming).

Warlayirti: The Art of Balgo

15 SEPTEMBER – 08 NOVEMBER 2014

Warlayirti examined the aesthetic divergences and vibrancy that distinguishes the art of Balgo and the importance of Christianity to the Balgo community as a means of cross cultural communication.

Volunteers wanted at RMIT Gallery – join us now

RMIT Gallery volunteers recruiting at Open Day. Photo Evelyn Tsitas

RMIT Gallery volunteers recruiting at Open Day. Photo Evelyn Tsitas

Do you have a burning ambition to work in an art gallery or museum? Are you studying visual art, curating or arts management but wondering how to break into a job in the competitive art field? RMIT Gallery are looking for dedicated volunteers to join our team. Join us now!

Our current pool of volunteers are planning to move on with their studies and career plans and as they take the valuable skills they have gained at RMIT Gallery with them, positions become available for others to join our team.

This is a wonderful opportunity to gain experience at a major public art gallery in the heart of the Melbourne CBD. You may be a current undergraduate or postgraduate student, or have completed your degree and are looking for practical work experience.

We are looking for regular volunteers who are able to donate their time on a regular weekly basis to undertake gallery sitting, reception work and wide variety of administrative and research tasks. Volunteers also assist in exhibition openings throughout the year that require staff to serve food and drinks, and assist in various aspects of the function, as well as other public program events. These are a great opportunity to meet artists, curators and other members of the arts community and gain first hand experience in event management.

Most of the current casual staff at RMIT Gallery started as volunteers, as did permanent staff members such Gallery Operations Manager Megha Nikhil. But you don’t need an arts degree to get a foot in the door. Casual gallery staff member Kaushali Seneviratne, who started as a volunteer, has a Bachelors in Commerce.

“When I was volunteer, my duties varied from digitalisation and archiving to helping out with opening night duties, to assisting the Collections Coordinator and even gaining an insight into the importance of social media and communications in an art gallery,” Kaushali said.

Kaushali Seneviratne at the 2015 RMIT Gallery exhibition Japanese Art After Fukushima: Return of Godzilla, posing next to Yutaka Kobayashi's work ‘Absorption Ripples – Melt down melt away’ 2015

Kaushali Seneviratne at the 2015 RMIT Gallery exhibition ‘Japanese Art After Fukushima: Return of Godzilla’, posing next to Yutaka Kobayashi’s ‘Absorption Ripples – Melt down melt away’. Installation photo by Mark Ashkanasy.

Kaushali added that volunteering at RMIT Gallery has opened up job opportunities and work experience at other arts organisations. “It has allowed me to meet other like-minded people and gain valuable experience in arts management.”

Current volunteer Miranda Camboni is studying Arts Management.

“I’ve been able to participate in and assist with the organisation of exhibitions and gallery management , which has been really helpful in my understanding of arts organisations and learning skills important for career opportunities,” Miranda said.

“While volunteering at RMIT Gallery I have been able to learn about arts organisations in a entirely different way. It’s been a great environment to work within, being around art and interesting and knowledgeable people.”

If you are interested in working as a volunteer at RMIT Gallery, call us (03) 9925 1717 or send us an email with your CV to rmit.gallery@rmit.edu.au

Moving & Storing the RMIT Art Collection

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RMIT Gallery is in transition! Building work commences next week as we begin essential work, including restoration of the airconditioner, and so staff have had to pack up and relocate to another RMIT University building until September 2015.
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That leaves works from the RMIT Art Collection not currently displayed around the campuses. These need to be carefully packed up and moved, itemised, logged and accounted for. It’s a far bigger job than staff wrapping their keyboards in plastic and ensuring their paperwork is placed in moving boxes.
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As well as its regular programming of exhibitions and events, RMIT Gallery also has responsibility for the RMIT Art Collection, which includes storage. RMIT Gallery Director Suzanne Davies is chair of the RMIT Art Committee, and RMIT Collections Coordinator Jon Buckingham and RMIT Gallery Registrar Peter Wilson have the day to day responsibility for looking after the collection. Mr Buckingham also oversees the digitisation of the entire collection as part of the large scale RMIT Art Collection Online project. 
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Here Mr Buckingham carefully wraps up William Dargie’s ‘Portrait of Sir John Storey’ (1952, oil on canvas) as it prepares for a ‘holiday’ in safe storage. See you in September, Sir Storey.
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A large part of the Art Collection is being stored at the RMIT Bundoora campus, but more space is needed, and as a city based university, space is at a premium. This is the exhibition space known as Gallery 6, which looks a little different from its recent incarnation when it held Terry Burrows exhibition Backs of Banaras. Here is Terry giving an artist talk (below) – an interesting contrast to the photo (above) where paintings are being wrapped for storage.
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With space is issue around the university, and works needing secure and climate controlled storage – the solution is to store extra artworks in external purpose built facilities.
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The last two days of our move from RMIT Gallery’s premises at Storey Hall, 344 Swanston Street was overseen by International Art Services.
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IAS Storage Registrar Maria-Luisa said the artworks would be going to an IAS climate controlled storeroom.  “We’ve been listing, coding and packing around 150 two dimensional works,” she said. “The artwork will be stored on purpose built, elevated 2D racks in humidity and climate controlled rooms which are all dust proof.”
The move back will be equally time intensive, all the more so because it will come at a time when RMIT Gallery prepares to install its next exhibitions to celebrate the reopening of the building in September. Stay tuned!
Next exhibitions – September – October 2015

Power to the People!  18 September – 10 October

Spanish artist Julio Falagán’s work questions power and the established status quo through humour and irony, inviting audiences to become art collectors by taking home posters of the five original works made through the manipulation of popular prints bought in flea markets.

Artist statement:

“My work deals with the questioning of power and the established status quo through humour and irony. With a justified lack of respect for what or who doesnʼt deserve it, dignifying the trivial and obsolete as a starting point to reflect on social fracture, calling into question any dogmas.
 
A plea in favour of the small, the overlooked, the discarded, calling out the grandiloquences and the absolute truths.”

Performing Mobilities18 September – 24 October

Lucy Bleach, video still from 46a Middle Rd, part of the “Remote Viewing” project, shot by pigeon-mounted micro-camera, HD video, 2012-2015.

Lucy Bleach, video still from 46a Middle Rd, part of the “Remote Viewing” project, shot by pigeon-mounted micro-camera, HD video, 2012-2015.

Traces of creative journeys form expositions that explore and reimagine movement, place and event with local relevance and global resonance. explores how contemporary life in Australia, the world’s largest island continent, is framed by borders whilst constantly being reconstructed through dynamic processes of mobility.

This exhibition of new work curated by Mick Douglas seeks to creatively and critically explore forms, forces, dynamics, meanings and consequences of performing mobility through a program of new experimental work. This dynamic show will include mobile performances that depart from and return to RMIT Gallery.

 

Then & Now: Storey Hall – home of RMIT Gallery

Did you come to RMIT Gallery to see the blockbuster music exhibition 2013-2014 exhibition “Music, Melbourne and Me: 40 Year’s of Melbourne’s Popular Music Culture”? Perhaps you recall going to see bands in Storey Hall in the 1970s…Working at RMIT Gallery in the grand old building on Swanston Street in the heart of Melbourne where RMIT University’s city campus is located, means working with layers of the past and all the stories people confide about their own memories of the building in years gone by.

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A short pictorial guide to the background of Storey Hall has been published in RMIT’s online Alumni Magazine featuring this great old photo.

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The Alumni Magazine article got us thinking about how different RMIT Gallery looks now – and how little the beautifully preserved facade has really changed over the years. Here are some of the ways that the RMIT Gallery facade has been tweaked slightly during various exhibitions.

2013 – 2014

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Music, Melbourne and Me: 40 years of Mushroom and Melbourne’s Popular Music Culture 19 November 2013 – 22 February 2014, Photo: Mark Ashkanasy. The gorgeous neon lured visitors to the blockbuster music exhibition, curated by Suzanne Davies and Dr Kipps Horn.

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That’s the queue to get into the exhibition on closing night which coincided with White Night Melbourne on Saturday 22 February 2014 when RMIT Gallery was open from 7 pm to 7 am. People waited for up to an hour to get inside….

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2012

 

 

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Experimenta Speak to Me – 5th International Biennial of Media Art,  14 September – 17 November 2012. Staff loved this piece as late at night, people would be pushing against the front door trying to get in, convinced it was one of Melbourne’s infamous secret clubs. We would also delight in watching people take selfies with Shimura’s work glowing around them.

Artwork by:

Nobuhiro Shimura

Red Carpet, 2010
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digital video projection
Purchased through the RMIT Art Fund, 2012
Acc. no: RMIT.2013.3
Main image courtesy Mark Ashkanasy, opening night photo by Vicki Jones.
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2008

Zandra Rhodes: A Lifelong Love Affair with Textiles Monday 11 February – Saturday 22 March

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Zandra Rhodes: A Life Long Love Affair with Textiles showcased the stunning creations of fashion doyenne Zandra Rhodes at RMIT Gallery in the UK designer’s first major retrospective in Australia. The exhibition, co curated by RMIT Gallery Director Suzanne Davies, charted the designer’s creative progress from initial inspiration to the finished product, bringing to life many of her iconic designs over the past four decades.

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2008

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Heat: Art and Climate Change, Friday 12 September – Saturday 18 October 2008.

A living sign for Australia’s first climate change exhibition, curated by Linda Williams and Suzanne Davies. Photos: Mark Ashkanasy.

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2007

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RMIT Gallery commemorates the 30th anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley with the exhibition Living Elvis – Friday 17 August – 20 October 2007. Photos: Mark Ashkanasy.

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Welcome to the RMIT Gallery blog

RMIT Gallery is Melbourne’s most vibrant public art and design gallery. It presents changing exhibitions of Australian and international design, including fashion, architecture, fine art, craft, new media and technology.

We have a constant flow of exhibitions, artists, public programs and visitors, and this blog gives readers a behind the scenes view of how exhibitions are put together; the artists from around Australia and overseas who come to present their work and the curatorial rationale of exhibitions.

We hope you find it useful, interesting – and fun.

To connect and stay up to date with exhibitions and public program events, find us on facebook, twitter, youtube (we have our own RMIT Gallery section) and the official RMIT University – RMIT Gallery website.