Saturday, February 16, 2008

February 2008, top exhibition picks for this fortnight

Melbourne CBD

I recommend this fine exhibition of sculpture by Bertram Mackennal, " NGV, Fed. Square. It's free, and on until Feb 24th.
He was known for his beautiful female nudes. I grew up familiar with Circe (generally pronounced sur-see in English, but maybe be called sur-kee, or KEER-kee if you want to be more Greek). My dad used to be a security guard at the old gallery before its refurbishment and most Sunday afternoons we would visit and have afternoon tea with him. I used to be both daunted and fascinated by this particular statue. She's still quite imposing up on her pedestal, but more so when you're a child :). I used to stand in front of her as if she were casting a spell over me. She's still got that magic... There also a lovely marble of Diana, Goddess of War.

This afternoon I checked out a few other shows.

The Melbourne Museum has an $8.50 entrance fee. There were some interesting things but I don't feel that it was worth that when there's so much free stuff at NGV that is of wider importance culturally. Half of that price would have been more reasonable.

Craft Victoria has a poetic show of glassworks by Brenda Page, Once Upon... on until March 1. She takes childhood toys and gives them a bigger sense of meaning through the fragile medium of glass, and with little black graphics of bunnies, insects, people, animals, words and guns. My favourite was the sling shots. Nicely installed and an interesting use of colour and medium.

The jewellery show by Caz Guiney, Precious Nothing, also at Craft Victoria. was beautifully presented, perhaps more so than some of the actual pieces merited. I liked the idea of this. However there were a few castings of objects that don't have interesting forms including what appears to be an obsession with pigeon poo! I did like the jewellery taken from architectual features and disposable drinking cup lids. Worth seeing, if only to turn the idea of what is precious on its head.

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