Restaurateur Matt Bax has been running cavernous Clifton Hill art gallery Grau Projekt since 2018. And for its latest exhibition, he's putting his own art on show.
Through a new series of paintings called Memento Moribana, he explores the motif of flowers in contemporary art and challenges preconceptions surrounding the subject. Inspiration comes from the Japanese moribana flower arrangement, where elements are arranged on a flat, shallow container to replicate naturally growing shapes.
Bax uses the theme of florals – inspired by cemetery bins he came across while in Munich – to delve into themes of mortality, death and memory. The exhibition is a call to reflect on the inevitability of the human condition and focus on living in the present.
For Grau Projekt's signature "artist-curated drinking" experience, Bax has programmed a trink automat or drinks dispenser with a number of cocktails (including non-alcoholic). Coming from the man behind Bar Americano, expect mixes that lean into floral botanicals and won't taste like anything else you've had before.
Admission to the exhibition is free. Cocktails are only available at the opening party on Friday, April 24 from 2pm to 4pm. Tickets to the opening cost $18.
Grau Projekt is open Mondays to Wednesdays by appointment and Thursdays to Saturdays, from 12pm to 5pm.