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FIRST LOOK: NGV Triennial 2020, NGV International, Melbourne

From 19 December 2020 to 18 April 2021 the National Gallery of Victoria’s Triennial Exhibition will be showing at NGV International.

The first instalment of the NGV Triennial in 2017 was the NGV’s most visited exhibition ever– with 1.23 million people through the doors (although I suspect I count for a couple of visits).

I thoroughly enjoyed the 2017 inaugural NGV Triennial, and found that one visit just wasn’t enough.  The wide range of art was accessible for a wide range of interests and age groups. I am definitely looking forward to visiting this year.

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Julian Opie
Installation view of Julian Opie Crows 2018, at NGV International, 2018
Continuous computer animation on 5 double-sided LED screens
61.5 x 41 x 23.2 cm (each) (dimensions variable)
Collection of the artist
Photo Tobias Titz Photography

What is NGV Triennial?

The NGV Triennial is an expansive showcase of contemporary art sourced globally, with over 80 established and emerging artists and designers featured.  Audiences will be invited to explore four themes: Illumination, Reflection, Conservation and Speculation.

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Cerith Wyn Evans
The Illuminating Gas at Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan, 2019
Courtesy of the artist and Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan
Photo: Augustino Osio

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NGV Triennial Highlights

There are over 30 major works specially commissioned for NGV Triennial that will be making their world premiere.

These include: Transforming the NGV Gallery Kitchen Café with inspiration drawn from the boudoir, nightclub and salon in a collaboration between Adam Nathaniel Furman and Sibling Architecture. 

There is a collection of Bioplastic Facemasks made by Alice Potts.  They are created from food waste and dyed with flowers she collected in London’s parks during 2020, and highlight the use of single use PPE and the need to explore more sustainable alternatives.

Julian Opie (who you may remember from his 2018 exhibition and fabulous kids activities), has been commissioned to create a series of animated birds displayed on LED screens along St Kilda Road.

Cerith Wyn Evans has created a large scale neon artwork that changes as the viewer moves around the work and views it from an altered perspective.

Glenda Nicholls has hand woven thousands of finger knots and adorned the expansive net created with feather flowers.  This work is a display of skills and knowledge passed through generations by Indigenous artisans, and reflects on the involvement of Aboriginal women in traditional fishing practices.

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Glenda Nicholls
Miwi Milloo (Good Spirit of the Murray River) 2020 (detail)
Cotton, feathers, wire (dimensions variable)
Commissioned by the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased with funds donated by Lisa Fox, 2020
Photo: Wayne Quilliam

Is NGV Triennial Suitable for kids?

As well as being lots for kids to appreciate inside NGV Triennial, there is also dedicated kids space, Moja Moja Life: Misaki Kawai for Kids

There may be some areas that are unsuitable for younger children, however they will be clearly signed.

Moja Moja Life
Misaki Kawai
Arty 2011
Mixed Media
400.0 x 650.0 cm
Courtesy of the artist and Malmo Konsthal, Malmo, Sweden

Does it cost money to visit?

Entry to NGV Triennial and Moja Moja Life: Misaki Kawai is free. However, bookings are required.

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Tromarama, Bandung (art collective)
Solaris 2020, (render)
LED curtain, colour digital animation, real-time data manipulation, sound
450.0 x 800.0cm
Commissioned by the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased with funds donated by David Parncutt and Robin Campbell Family Foundation, 2020

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Joyce Watts is a former intellectual property, IT and media lawyer turned serial entrepreneur.

As well as being the founder of TOT: HOT OR NOT she helps businesses with their SEO, email marketing & social media as BrightSmart.com.au; she owns an online bike store CycleStyle.com.au and develops and produces creative experiences for families via WheelieGoodFun.com. She used to publish another popular lifestyle and food blog called MEL: HOT OR NOT The decisive guide to Melbourne.

She lives in inner-city Melbourne with her husband, two children and seven bikes.

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