I walked around the city enjoying the spring sunshine after the rain and looking at a few small exhibitions. It looks nothing like Xmas even though they are putting up Xmas trees and other decorations around Melbourne. There is a large red Santa Mail Box in the City Square. Now that the drought is over some of Melbourne’s fountains are flowing again; the John Mockridge Fountain in the City Square is one of them. Melbourne once had fountains in its gardens and scattered around the city but during the drought they were shut off and only the NGV’s famous water wall remained flowing.
On the ground floor “artspace” at Victoria University Peter Burke is exhibiting graphite, enamel and charcoal drawings of 18 of the 55 gloves that he has found on his way to work and back. Each drawing is documented in a stamped format with the date, time and location of the glove: “Green + blue gardening glove, Saturday 10/7/10 11:35am Swanston St. Melbourne.” There are wool, leather and rubber gloves, generally singular although there is one pair. The detailed drawings of the lost gloves have an anthropomorphic quality and a concern with the wabi-sabi elements of wear. “Lost Property: Gloves” combines the conceptual, art/life/game elements of Peter Burke’s art with the fine traditional drawings.
“Unlocked – Abus photography award” at No Vacancy is an exhibition by second year RMIT photography students for a prize from Abus, a German padlock company. So most of the photographs looked liked glossy advertising photographs for their product but a few rose above this, like Hannah Schlesinger’s “Secure the Sacred”. Giles Crook won the $2000 prize and Don Dang won the people’s choice.
There is a small exhibition of visionary art by the late, eccentric bohemian, Vali Myers on exhibition at Outré Gallery. Myers’ obsessive technique of lines and dots are some kind of substitute for quality and artistic development. Along with her art there is a vitrine of her journals, jewellery and other mementos of her life, including the last pen nib that she used. I remember visiting Vali Myers studio in the Nicholas Building in the late 90s. Her single large room on the 7th floor was a combination between a sitting room, studio and sales room. The original art is NFS (Not For Sale) but the prints are. Most of the prints are giclee prints produced by the Vali Myers Art Gallery Trust after her death.