When you have your own business sometimes the only way to get away from work is to really get away, pack up and leave … so that is what we did! We headed off to Melbourne to get our art fix, or as our friend Simha from Vivid tours would say ‘to immerse ourselves in the heartbeat of the art world’.
Here is our rough 2 Day itinerary… with some tips
Thursday: Fly out after work and arrive in Melbourne to see the night lights
Friday: The intention was to get started early but the comfort and luxury of QT Melbourne had us exploring and lingering longer.
Tip: If you get a chance drop by, the bar and restaurant and roof top are open to the public and there are some interesting installations in the foyer and first level which everyone can enjoy, actually even the toilets are worth visiting in QT!
10.15 am: Walk via Hosier Lane to get our first glimpse of what Melbourne, the ‘Stencil Graffiti Capital’ is famous for.
Tip: On weekdays the streets are much quieter and you get better access to the art.
11 am: The Art of Banksy Exhibition (running until 22 January) behind Federation Square.
A must for a dose of social commentary! Even though we were fans and familiar with Banksy there were works that we had never seen before and of course some originals! The exhibition is quite extensive with room after room of installations, stencil art and prints. We loved it!
Tip #1: Photographs are allowed and encouraged
Tip #2: Don’t forget to ‘ EXIT through the gift shop’ as there are lots of souvenirs
12.30 pm: National Gallery Victoria (Australia) – Federation Square
Of special interest was Bruce Armstrong’s monumental totemic sculptures and Who’s afraid of colour? With works by a broad range of Indigenous women.
Tip: There is so much to see at the NGV, you could really spend all day in the gallery (plan tea and snack breaks)
3pm: Very late lunch!!! There are so many options in Federation square.
4pm: Head back to QT for a rest and change of clothes
6pm: NGV (international) – 180 St. Kilda Road
‘NGV Friday Nights’ : Your ticket includes entry into the key exhibitions; David Hockney: Current and Viktor & Rolf Fashion Artists and the headline band starts at 8.30pm.
Tip #1: There is a bar and delicious tapas so you could make this dinner.
Tip #2: Don’t bother waiting for the doll on the runway to appear.
Tip #3: Visit Lee Mingwei’s Moving Garden … you are encouraged to pick a flower to give to a stranger who you feel would benefit from ‘an unexpected act of generosity’
All morning Leisurely walk around and get a feel for the city.
Tip: The laneways are where this city reveals its true self. Tip: allow time for spontaneous shopping and sampling wonderful things to eat along the way.
1.30 – 4.00 Street Art Tours Melbourne http://melbournestreettours.com/
This was a highlight!
We had visited some of the same places the day before and missed some key works. And there is no way we would have found all the locations or amazing artworks on our own. We were able to see works by great artists such as Baby Guerilla, Fintan Magee, Blek Le Rat, Space Invader, Banksy and a whole lot more than we have space in this blog to mention. Our guide, David kept us entertained and interested with his personal knowledge of the artists, the social and political aspects of street art and the statements the artists are making, as well as the technical aspects of spray painting, stencil art and paste ups.
The tour ends at Blender studios where you get access to the artists’ studios and see some of the artists working. We love this kind of authentic experience.
Tip: Book your own tour and make sure you see the original Banksy’s in their natural habitat!
And all too soon it’s time to head home … We will be back for more soon Melbourne
Tip: We really underestimated how extensive each of the exhibitions was going to be. We had to forgo seeing and doing everything we wanted to in order to enjoy what we could. Plan at least 3 days !