Van Gogh at The Lume
At this monumental, mesmerising and much-anticipated new show, Van Gogh’s most iconic paintings swirl around you. The Lume is a digital art gallery unlike any other in the Southern Hemisphere. And its inaugural exhibition is the best kind of sensory overload. The towering ceiling is loaded with 150 state-of-the-art projectors, which continuously beam high-definition images onto all sorts of surfaces – be they flat, round or even stacks of cubes. Expect to see more than 3000 reimagined paintings, sketches, letters and photos. Be enveloped by the iconic Starry Night, or experience a life-size recreation of Bedroom in Arles. Expertly curated aromas and soundscapes linger in the 11-metre-high space, and the artist’s iconic sunflower series is also brought to life in a sunflower infinity room, à la Yayoi Kusama’s luminous spotted pumpkins.
For a limited time only at The Lume.
Maree Clarke: Ancestral Memories
Yorta Yorta/Wamba Wamba/Mutti Mutti/Boonwurrung woman Maree Clarke is passionate about reviving and sharing elements of Aboriginal culture that have lain dormant, or have been lost entirely due to colonisation. A multidisciplinary artist, Clarke has designed this exhibition to bring together 30 years of her photography, printmaking, jewellery, video, glass sculptures and more. One highlight is her larger-than-life necklaces; made from river reeds, galah feathers, kangaroo teeth and echidna quills, they hover from the ceiling in ghost-like fashion. They’re joined in mid-air suspension by dramatic glass eel traps. A large-scale, 60-pelt possum-skin cloak – handmade by Clarke using traditional techniques and commissioned especially by the NGV for this retrospective – hangs above another glass-encased possum-skin cloak, this one from the 19th century. It’s an incredible opportunity to see the precise diagonal and circular patterning used by Clarke’s ancestors, brought back to life.
Until February 6, 2022 at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia.
Patricia Piccinini: A Miracle Constantly Repeated
Patricia Piccinini fans won’t be disappointed by this out-of-the-ordinary immersive art experience. It opened in May as part of the cancelled Rising festival, but the season has been extended to January 23. Featuring dozens of Piccinini classics – such as a long-clawed couple embracing tenderly in bed, and a sweeping meadow of creatures resembling white orchids – plus plenty of never-before-seen pieces, this is the kind of show you might expect to see in a pristine, white-walled gallery. Instead, the works are installed throughout the aged, paint-peeling rooms of Flinders Street Station’s barely known third level. The show-stopping main event is the old ballroom, which has been transformed into a psychedelic disco of sorts, complete with bulbous coloured glass, wacky mirrors and neon lights. Meanwhile, a life-size sculpture of the artist herself – or mother nature, perhaps – looks over it all from the balcony above. Check out our gallery here.
Until June 12, 2022 at Flinders Street Station Ballroom.
Nabilah Nordin: Birdbrush and Other Essentials
At Heide, Birdbrush and Other Essentials is the first solo exhibition at a major museum for emerging Melbourne-based artist Nabilah Nordin. She has created a playful, fantastical world of delightfully absurd sculptures, made using non-traditional sculptural materials. Each piece resembles something or other, in a nonsensical way – be it the spine-looking figure with tree-trunk legs, or the gangly, green octopus-like creature with filled-stocking limbs (draped over a clothes horse). Nordin brings the show together with an eclectic mix of painted rags and random debris. They’re placed on the artworks, around them, underneath them, and a few are stuck to the ceiling.
Until January 30, 2022 at Heide Museum of Modern Art.
John Nixon in the Lyon Collection
The abstract and non-objective works of the late John Nixon came to the attention of passionate art collectors Corbett and Yueji Lyon more than a decade ago. Since then, the Lyons have been diligently collecting Nixon’s pieces and, through this process, constructing a story of his lifelong commitment to experimenting with colour, light and form. Thirty-five of the prolific artist’s works are displayed in this exhibition, from hand-sized, single-colour square blocks in yellow, pink, grey and more, to much larger, flatter, brilliant examples of geometric abstraction in eye-popping orange. The galleries are expansive to say the least and give ample breathing space so that each piece can be encountered separately, or in glorious clusters. This is also the first retrospective-style showcase of Nixon’s 50-year career since his death from leukaemia in 2020.
Until December 19 at Lyon Housemuseum Galleries.
Alana Kushnir is the founder of Guest Club, a membership network for art lovers and collectors.