Tag: exhibitions

MECCA x NGV Women in Design Commission

Portrait of Tatiana Bilbao

The MECCA x NGV Women in Design Commission is a major ongoing series that invites internationally renowned female designers and architects to create major new and significant work for the NGV Collection.

The five-year series is enabled by a significant contribution from MECCA Brands through its philanthropic program, M-Power, which champions and elevates women in art and design. This is MECCA’s single largest commitment to an Australian cultural institution and exponentially expands the NGV’s longstanding partnership with the brand.

Over five years, commissioned designers will be revealed annually at an event coinciding with International Women’s Day in March, with the final work being revealed by year’s end. The partnership will culminate in a major exhibition to showcase the five bodies of work and the remarkable collection outcome.

The MECCA x NGV Women in Design Commission – the first and only one of its kind in Australia – will create a platform to present topical, world-premiere works of international significance that amplify the contribution female designers are making to shaping our world.

For the inaugural commission – to be unveiled in September 2022 – world-leading Mexican architect Tatiana Bilbao will create a large-scale installation combining textiles with architectural structure, drawing on her studio’s use of collage, drawing, and model-making. The commission will be a physical expression of Bilbao’s aim to free architecture from the conventions and canon of the 20th Century; to propose a new trajectory that is focused on community, sustainability, and ethics.

Bilbao founded Tatiana Bilbao Estudio in Mexico City in 2004 with the aim of conducting architectural design work from a position of social and ecological responsibility. Her work is known for challenging historical conventions, often rearticulating spaces so that they are more people-orientated and inclusive.

Regarded as one of Mexico’s most exciting architects working today, Bilbao has worked across institutional, domestic, and low-cost social housing, urban planning, and landscape design. Her collaborations with other architects, artists, communities, artists, and business continue to enrich the cultural and built landscape of Mexico.

Prior to founding her firm, Bilbao was an advisor in the Ministry of Development and Housing of the Government of the Federal District of Mexico City. Her architectural work was presented at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2018 and is held in the permanent collections of the Centre Pompidou, Paris, and the Art Institute of Chicago.

The series strengthens the NGV’s rich and diverse collection of contemporary design and architecture, which includes internationally significant works by Patricia Urquiola, nendo, Faye Toogood, Formafantasma, Neri Oxman, Teamlab, and EstudioCampana. Since establishing a department of contemporary design and architecture in 2015, the NGV has actively commissioned and collected work by underrepresented designers and architects of diverse backgrounds, genders, and geographies.

MECCA’s support will help to strengthen the NGV’s collection of contemporary design works by women, creating a lasting legacy and advancing the NGV’s ongoing efforts toward redressing the historical gender imbalance across its collection.

Tony Ellwood AM, Director, NGV, said: “The ongoing Women in Design Commission will highlight the ground-breaking work of women in this field from Australia and around the world, as well as strengthening the NGV Collection for future generations. We are grateful to Jo Horgan and MECCA Brands for their visionary support of this Australian-first initiative and commend Jo Horgan’s continued mission to empower women in the creative industries.

“Tatiana Bilbao’s is a compelling voice from outside of the traditional canon of architecture, offering a unique perspective on both its history and its future. A woman from North America, an advocate and a spokesperson for change, Bilbao creates work that is as intellectually rigorous as it is visually dynamic,” said Ellwood.

Jo Horgan, founder and co-CEO, MECCA Brands, said: “At the heart of MECCA is our striving to empower women and girls through our M-Power program to achieve gender equality, whether it be art, design, or education. And, it is through education that sparks creativity.”

“We have had such wonderful moments with the NGV through our long partnership, and I am so incredibly thrilled that it has culminated in this MECCA x NGV Women in Design Commission so that we can spotlight the creative minds of women in the design space. To collaborate with designers of such calibre, like global innovator Tatiana Bilbao for the inaugural commission, is truly so special.”

Tatiana Bilbao said: “I am deeply honoured and grateful to have been chosen for the Women in Design Commission by the NGV and MECCA. This is contributing in many ways to advance the discourse of the importance of opening channels for people that have been left out of opportunities. When chosen, I took this responsibility very seriously and I am truly thankful for the opportunity.’

The 2022 MECCA x NGV Women in Design Commission will be on display from September 2022 – March 2023 at NGV International, St Kilda Road, Melbourne. Free entry. Further information online at ngv.melbourne.

Doug Aitken: New Era opens at MCA

Still of an owl on a bed in a darkened room surrounded by fluttering feathers

American artist Doug Aitken’s first major solo exhibition in the southern hemisphere, Doug Aitken: New Era, opens tomorrow 20 October at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA), as part of the 2021-22 Sydney International Art Series. Exclusive to Sydney, this comprehensive survey exhibition brings together key works from the late 1990s to recent multi-screen video installations.

American artist Doug Aitken is internationally recognised for his ambitious practice that encompasses installations, sculptures, photographs and vast, multi-screen environments that envelop viewers within a kaleidoscope of moving imagery and sound. Based in Los Angeles, he has realised numerous museum projects around the world, as well as live events in collaboration with musicians and performers, and site-specific works within the natural landscape and below the ocean’s surface.

MCA Director, Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE, said: “The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia is delighted to be presenting the first solo exhibition of Doug Aitken’s work in Australia, as part of the 2021- 2021 Sydney International Art Series. Doug Aitken is one of the world’s most influential and engaging contemporary artists. I have no doubt that the experience of becoming immersed in his world of spectacular videos, sculptures and installations is just what people are looking for as we emerge from the difficulties of life in lockdown. I can think of no better way to signal that the MCA, and Sydney, are well and truly open for a New Era!”

Doug Aitken: New Era is a comprehensive survey exhibition spanning more than two decades of the renowned artist’s practice. The Sydney-exclusive exhibition brings together key works from the late-1990s through to the present, including multi-screen video installations, large-scale sculptures, a

major sound environment, photographic installation, and a display of significant site-specific and performative projects. Curated by Rachel Kent, former MCA Chief Curator and now Chief Executive Officer, Bundanon Trust NSW, the exhibition transforms the MCA’s Level 3 galleries into an immersive and multi-sensory environment.

Rachel Kent, who has worked in close collaboration with the artist on all aspects of the exhibition, said: “Doug Aitken is an artist of international renown whose work immerses audiences within a constantly shifting world of light, sound, colour, and reflection. Encompassing vast, multi-screen environments as well as sculpture and photography, his museum works are complemented by site-specific projects and live events that open up multiple ways to experience and engage with art. 

Aitken’s works expand the definition of what art can be, positioning viewers as active participants in an environment that is fluid and dynamic. Landscape – real, virtual, nomadic, geological, psychological – is a recurring motif, while sound and musicality form a structural, temporal device for works on display.”

Speaking about the exhibition, Doug Aitken commented: “New Era is an exhibition that spans many different mediums, places, locations and ideas. We spent three years designing this exhibition for the MCA, Sydney and I wanted to activate the architecture in a different way, to turn the museum inside-out for the viewer. I see the experience of the exhibition as being authored by the viewer – what they see, how they see it, and how they piece together their own story and their own narrative within the space is up to them.

The exhibition New Era at the MCA speaks to our future, it is a landscape of ideas, a place where the viewer can step into, explore and hopefully leave transformed with a new perspective.”

Doug Aitken: New Era is on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia from 20 October 2021 – 6 February 2022.

Regional $50 million art museum reopens

Exterior photograph of newly renovated Shepparton Art Museum

Shepparton Art Museum (SAM) has announced its inaugural exhibition program that will be presented in the new $50 million art museum designed by acclaimed architecture firm Denton Corker Marshall.

Spanning five floors, SAM will launch with a suite of new exhibitions and major artist commissions by emerging and established Australian artists, with work to be presented across the Museum, the surrounding precinct, and online. Coming together with a spirit of regeneration, the reimagined Museum will represent the diversity and richness of Victoria and its unique local surroundings along with the vision and aspirations of its people.

The exhibition program spans sculpture, painting, video, photography, ceramics, and installation and is set to build upon the existing strengths of the SAM Collection, including its nationally recognised ceramics collection and the nation’s most significant collection of South-East Australian Aboriginal art.

SAM’s inaugural collection exhibition, Flow: Stories of River, Earth and Sky, showcases the nation’s largest holding of the extended Namatjira family, and is presented alongside a dynamic lineup of world premiere Australian exclusives and commissions celebrating artists from across Australia and around the world. 

Highlights of the program include a major survey exhibition of the work of renowned Yorta Yorta artist Lin Onus; a new artwork commission by acclaimed Yorta Yorta, Wamba Wamba, Mutti Mutti and Boonwurrung artist, Maree Clarke, titled Connection to Country – I Remember When…,2021; and a new participatory commission by Amrita Hepi