National Gallery of Victoria is presenting an exhibition of influential British artist Julian Opie this summer. The new main gallery display also has an accompanying free children’s gallery exhibition Julian Opie: Studio for Kids.
You’ll get your first glimpse of Julian Opie’s work with plinths displaying his instantly recognisable digital figures jogging at the entrance to NGV International on St Kilda.
He’s also rendered sleek fish onto the water wall, making for a fun game of catch!
As you enter Federation Court you’ll see the largest ever work presented in the space: a city of skyscrapers that stretch all the way up to the glass atrium ceiling. The buildings are up to 13 metres high at its tallest point and the best views are from Level 1.
Entry is free to the main exhibition. More than 40 of Julian Opie’s works are on display in the gallery, from portraits to landscapes.
Stand still and be surprised by pictures that move when you don’t expect them to!
And see if you can tell where Julian Opie took inspiration from when making ‘Melbourne Walk 1’ and ‘Melbourne Walk 2’ (Hint: one is Collingwood, one is St Kilda).
In addition, Julian Opie: Studio for Kids is a free NGV Children’s Gallery exhibition that’s an interactive art studio for children and families.
The NGV Kids exhibition focuses on Opie’s interests in drawing and portraiture through digital and hands-on activities.
In Julian Opie + Me, kids can create self-portraits using line and colour and then have their portraits rendered in Opie’s distinctively colourful style.
Take a selfie, use the digital pen to draw the outline of your face then just add colour!
Children can also create their portraits using coloured felt pieces shaped like abstract faces, facial features and hairstyles.
The activities seem simple – but in the words of Craig Damrauer ‘Modern art = I could do that + Yeah, but you didn’t.’
I think both activities are suitable for kids 2+ years. Children will get the most of out it if they can sit upright unassisted and wield a chubby digital pen with reasonable accuracy. Or have some concept of what bits constitute a face when playing with the felt pieces.