I am in Melbourne to visit my son and sister…and to escape a bit of Queensland heat. I also came to see 3 exhibitions at the National Gallery of Victoria.
I was dropped off at Flinders St Station, a wonderful Melbourne building.
I crossed the mighty Yarra river and made my way to the gallery. Some unkind people have remarked that the Yarra flows upside down, but on this sunny summer day it looked clean and sparkling.
The Melbourne skyline looks impressive from Southbank.
Some seagulls were enjoying a bath outside the gallery.
The first exhibition I saw was David Hockney. 1200 works of the 79 year old artist are on display from the last decade. There are paintings, digital drawings, photographs and videos.
On display are 600 sometimes animated IPad drawings of still life compositions and portraits. I love the flowers and faces.
One huge room is dedicated to “Bigger trees near water”, 50 oil on canvas paintings on one wall. The other 3 walls display 1:1 digital versions of the same work.
There is a 60 metre long gallery lined with 80 recently painted acrylic portraits of the artist’s family, friends and notable subjects. The artist tells that the portraits took him 2 years to complete and that he considers the collection one work.
The video of the artist talking to us was especially interesting. It seemed like a private conversation to explain his motivation.
From David Hockney I went to the Viktor and Rolf exhibition. Viktor and Rolf are 2 Amsterdam fashion designers. This exhibition features their landmark haute couture collections.
First is The Russian Doll collection, originally presented on a single model, dressed in layer after layer by the designers on stage.
The detail in the work is incredible.
Are they artists working in fashion, or are they fashion designers? You decide.
The wallpaper is digitally composed from hundreds of Viktor and Rolf’s hand drawn sketches.
In 2008, on the occasion of their solo exhibition at the Barbican Art Gallery in London, Viktor and Rolf commissioned a Belgian doll maker to create a series of dolls dressed in intricately made miniature versions of their key works.
I could have sat for hours looking at the videos of the shows.
Beside the exhibition is an area where children can create there own designs. What a great idea! Perhaps some will be inspired to create works of art in the future.
Here are 2 happy kids trotting off in their paper creations.
I don’t mind the odd emerald, so it was upstairs to the Bulgari Collection. From a single jewellery shop, opened in Rome in 1884 by Greek silversmith Sotiro Bulgari, the firm has evolved into an emblem of Italian excellence as well as a global player in the luxury goods business….and they make gorgeous things!!!
The beautiful pieces were behind glass, making them easy to admire, but difficult to photograph. The necklace below is versatile, the large piece at the bottom comes off to create a separate jewel. Elizabeth Taylor wore it well.
The large photos of famous beauties wearing the jewels brought them to life.
Elizabeth Taylor liked to wear her jewels on the sets while she was making movies. She was quite an expert on wearing jewels.
Here are a couple of photos of my favourite pieces…taken from posters. I like snakes and emeralds.
If you can, find your way to Melbourne for these excellent exhibitions.