Balancing the tension between transformation and permanence is a challenge inherent to cultural institutions, particularly one with a commitment to the fostering of contemporary art practice such as MUMA.
Since the beginning of its collection in 1961, Monash University has made loud its presence in the conversation of Australian visual arts, and this boldness is continued in the unveiling of the museum’s new home, brought to life through the design and vision of Kerstin Thompson Architects.
The resultant structure is an alliance of classic white lines and exposed framework, where the building’s interior alternately welcomes the light and hubbub of campus life, then creates private, labyrinthine spaces.
Fittingly, it is within these fresh walls that Change makes home. The exhibition spotlights the depth of the museum’s collection, featuring significant works by artists including Howard Arkley, Tracey Moffatt, John Brack, and Charles Blackman, amongst many more key artists of the 1960’s late modernism to the present day. Museum Director, Max Delany, suggests “Change challenges us – to change our minds, our thinking, our behaviour . . . ”, and it is a claim well-founded.
Painted canvases, pedestalled sculptures, and a gamut of new media pieces converse; sharing the corners and long hallways, showcasing the success of the gallery’s design and the dynamism of the work on show.
The MUMA Housewarming, a day of art happenings, music and kids activities, and the much-loved sausage sizzle, is on 6 November (noon-5pm).
Change will be open at MUMA until 18 December.