Collective Polyphony Festival

Sat 2nd September, 2023 – Sat 28th October, 2023
Various locations
For its inaugural event, 10 local and international artist collectives will come to seven exhibition spaces across Melbourne and Kyneton, exploring themes of language, sustainability, culture, community and more.

Founded upon the central idea of artist supporting artists, the Collective Polyphony Festival aims to foster and nurture emerging and established artist collectives. With 10 distinct collectives involved, the multi-space event will run over eight weeks and see a unique theme brought to each of its seven exhibition spaces across Melbourne and Kyneton.

Habitat – presented by the ShrewD Collective at Gertrude Glasshouse – explores themes of community and peace building. Inspired by the Tower of Babel (and the idea that language divides us), Habitat showcases a collaboration of works in five diverse visual languages. Likewise, Aristotle’s idea that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts is exemplified by the Last Collective – with each of the five artist’s artworks building upon one another’s in their exhibition, Space, at Mary Cherry.

Another highlight exhibition is (Un) Home: Being-Towards-Place ¬– featuring videos, installation works and paintings by more than a dozen first generation Chinese-Australian artists. Presented by The Chinese Museum Arts Collective at Testing Grounds, it’s centred around the theme of the varying experiences of the Asian diaspora.

Past Present Future – All At Once features artworks created by the Pitcha Makin Fellas, an art collective based on Wadawurrung land in Ballarat. For their exhibition at Diane Singer, they combine their humour and advocacy for First Nations people in their brightly coloured, collaborative paintings.

The festival will also feature two exhibitions at Blindside in the CBD – Macroalgae Mobilisation, and Fossilised Sunshine – which use biodegradable and foraged materials (like seaweed) to explore themes such as culture and politics, and photography’s role in fostering feelings of nostalgia.

Further afield at Stockroom Kyneton, the In-Kind Collective present Something Holding These Bodies In-Kind – an exhibition in which the collective have dismantled the individuality of their own projects, instead approaching art as a shared creative practice.

More information here.