Invariably one of our entertainments when we’re visiting cities during our travels is to seek out art of one or another, and usually several kinds. Of course we did this on our recent visits to Melbourne and Adelaide.
Melbourne’s National Gallery was in the final days of its hosting of a large Salvador Dali exhibition.
This was very popular and we had to queue for some time for tickets. The works on show represented a wide range of his work but we found that only a small number of them drew our interest. Of those, it was pieces of jewelery that i’d not been aware Dali had created, that most impressed and fascinated.
At the Ian Potter Centre there were some interesting pieces among the entrants in the 2009 Clemenger Contemporary Art Award.
The Centre for the Moving Image was however, the place we spent most of our time with art this visit. acmi have an absorbing new exhibition of the history of the moving image, called Screen Worlds – lots and lots of detailed pieces on show and in action and many you can interact with, that build this story. We went back several times to revisit some of these. In another gallery is Hollywood Remix – several cheekily remixed sections of a few old Hollywood classics to put the characters and plots into new perspectives! But best of all a large retrospective of Len Lye’s work including several recreations of some of his brilliantly conceived kinetic sculptures – which we returned to watch several times.
More briefly experienced, but equally memorable and impressive was the furniture of Khai Liew. Our friends R & C took us to meet Khai Liew in his showroom while we were in Adelaide. Curiously we had seen 2 of his pieces in the city Art Gallery the previous afternoon, noting but really unaware of just who had crafted these chairs. Liew’s furniture is exquisitely fine — amongst his tables, chairs, chests, sideboards are designs i found myself at once regarding covetously. We could very quickly see just why he and his work have international standing.
The following day as R & C were showing us parts of the Adelaide hills, they took us to a furniture store housed in what had once been a small church — now with added modern extension. This place has a good selection of modern stuff but what captured C’s and my attention were some small pieces of glass. We liked them lots, but left them there, taking only photos. Later [after an excellent late lunch — well, it was mid-afternoon by then — at Melt Pizzeria, in a very pleasant corner of the city — great crisp pizza, salad, & some just brilliant mushrooms sautéd with rosemary & served with polenta] we visited the JamFactory. A design/production/exhibition/sale centre this clutch of studios serves to foster design and crafting in ceramics, glass, furniture and metal. There was some really interesting stuff in exhibition and here in the selling gallery we found some more of the series of glass pieces that had so caught us earlier in the day. We looked and looked and finally succumbed. [Thank you R & C for leading us to this temptation!]
Just the other day we discovered that the glass piece we bought, one of a series called Jelly Block, and made there at the JamFactory, by Kumiko Nakajima, was a finalist in this year’s Ranamok Prize. How pleasing!