Gertrude Street Projection Festival is an annual free light, sound and art exhibition celebrating winter on one of Melbourne’s most vibrant streets. Shop fronts, laneways, windows and footpaths light up for a self-guided walking tour of Fitzroy and Collingwood from Friday 15 July to Sunday 24 July.
I first took Lady AB to Gertrude Street Projection Festival last year and loved the experience so much that we returned this year. It’s sort of like ‘White Night Lite’ – a manageable selection of projection art lighting up an interesting retail streetscape without the crowds and public transport nightmares.
We’ve even got a routine now – pizza dinner at Ladro to kick of the night then rugging up with our torches to see what we can discover.
This year’s festival features 38 sites on Gertrude Street and beyond, with two precincts exhibiting a program that extends beyond projection art – one at Atherton Gardens and one at Little Woods Gallery.
There seems to be fewer street and building projections than in previous years, with more interior experiences instead and some of which you need to book. But the beauty of Gertrude Street Projection Festival is that it’s a bit of a choose-your-own-adventure so you can choose to wind your way however you wish and take your time to absorb the works you enjoy.
- Start your night with an early dinner at Ladro at 5/5:30pm. They have a great children’s menu with a pizza or pasta plus dessert for $12.50. Zoe Scoglio’s work is also presented in the restaurant;
- Projections start at 6pm;
- Bring a torch, glow sticks and maybe even some hand made paper shadow puppets;
- If you do go to Ladro our preferred table is table number 4 (for 4 people) because it’s in the corner with two large blank white walls. We had fun experimenting with light and shadows while waiting for our dinner to arrive.
- Rug up, there’s not much shelter on the street. Wear white for extra excitement!
- With kids I don’t think it’s worthwhile visiting the special performances or interior exhibits. I noticed that they enjoyed just being out on the street, looking all around them, than sitting still in a gallery. It also takes the pressure having to be at a certain place at a certain time.
- Note some of the works may not be appropriate for children. For instance You’ve Got Cucumber on Your Eyes at Seventh Gallery is very creepy and the characters quite nightmarish!;
- Download the program to help plan your night in advance;
- To cover the whole route allow 1-1.5 hours; and
- Park on side streets or take public transport, tram $86, #112 or #109.