Unique is an overused word. But it just might be appropriate for the City Gallery at Melbourne Town Hall. No other such space has offered a sustained program of free, regular exhibitions focused exclusively on central Melbourne, backed by an authentic collection and supported by loans and new commissions.
Some numbers: more than 50 exhibitions held since the gallery opened in 2002; an average of three exhibitions per year; the work of more than 300 living artists shown; considerably more than 1000 artworks, photographs and artefacts displayed.
Besides its symbiotic relationship with the City Collection, the gallery’s hallmark is the quality of its curatorship and design. Many of its curators have spent years working in and around their subject, and the space gives a voice to them and the artists and other city documenters shown. No two shows look the same, and the prize-winning catalogues are coveted records of exhibitions.
Melbourne Town Hall, 110 Swanston Street, Melbourne.
(enter via Halftix)
Monday 10am to 2pm; Tuesday to Friday 11am to 6pm; Saturday 10am to 4pm
Closed Sundays and public holidays
Emblazon: Melbourne’s coat of arms
Curated by Alisa Bunbury
7 September 2018 to 30 March 2019
In late 1842, seven years after Tasmanian pastoral prospectors first claimed these Kulin lands, the township of Melbourne was formally incorporated. Newly elected councillors designed a heraldic coat of arms to represent the anticipated economic prosperity of this new town. Emblazon: Melbourne’s coat of arms explores its symbolism, evolution, and past and continuing presence around the city, as well as contemporary interpretations.
Alisa Bunbury is a curator fascinated by the history of Melbourne. She also currently cycles dangerously as she searches passing buildings for signs of coats of arms. She has previously been a curator at the Art Gallery of South Australia and the National Gallery of Victoria, and is currently employed at the University of Melbourne as well as in diverse freelance work.
Visit City Gallery for past exhibitions.