The Untitled Drawing Club: Week 2

Welcome to week 2 of The Untitled Drawing Club. For those who didn’t read my last post, The Untitled Drawing Club has been created by Alexis Winter and transports people virtually, each Monday, to a new museum, exhibition, etc. The aim is to create an artwork inspired by your visit. If you would like to join or find further information, I’ll be sharing a link to the club at the end of each relevant blog post. Also, I’ll take this as an opportunity to remind you/let you know that this blog has an Instagram, @curateyourownadventure. You can find the account by clicking on the social media icon next to this post.

This week, we are going on a virtual tour of the National Gallery of Victoria’s (NGV) Triennial 2020. More specifically, a tour of ‘Hidden Figures’ by Daniel Arsham and Fred Wilson. Before looking at this particular tour in more detail, I want to start broadly by discussing the Triennial and the other associated virtual tours you can experience. Similar to last week, I will be sharing my artwork at the end of this post.

NGV Triennial

The inaugural Triennial was held at the NGV back in 2017. It returned in 2020 filling the galleries with contemporary works that speak to art, design and architecture. According to the NGV website, the exhibition offers a ‘visually arresting and thought-provoking view of the world at this time’. It achieves this through 86 artworks, 34 of which have been commissioned by the NGV and are being displayed to the public for the first time. In total, there are 100 artists represented which is truly amazing.

There is no set theme for this exhibition. Rather, it aims to spotlight accomplished and emerging practitioners from all over the world and question the status quo of art and design. It also provides a space for artists to experiment with digital and emerging technologies and to reflect on how these technologies have influenced the art industry. However, it is not only art on display but also design and architecture. No surprises here, considering the name, but this exhibition will be held every three years and help build art connections between Australia (Melbourne in particular) and the rest of the world.

Virtual Tours

If you would like to explore the virtual tours on offer then click here. Just by looking at the virtual offerings, you can tell that this exhibition would have been amazing to visit in person. I hope that some of you were able to visit before it closed in April this year.

The tour that really caught my eye is titled ‘Natural History, Fallen Fruit’. It is very ‘busy’ looking with different coloured bright floral wallpaper and paintings/sculptures dispersed throughout the gallery. As with the Frida Kahlo Museum virtual tour, you can choose how you move through the gallery in a Google maps kind of way. If you see an artwork you like, you can zoom in on the label. However, it is sometimes impossible to read the label due to the level of blurring caused by zooming in. The labels are not next to the artworks but are on the ground in front of the artworks, which does add to this challenge. This is a bit of a shame as there are some artworks I really want to learn more about but just couldn’t read the label. So, if you’re looking for an overview of an exhibition this is fantastic. But, if you are wanting to engage more with the artworks then this can be quite problematic. If you can make out the title and perhaps the artist, definitely jump on Google and see what more you can find.

I want to share a few screenshots of the ‘Natural History, Fallen Fruit’ exhibition so you can really appreciate its beauty. Firstly, this is my favourite artwork:

I managed to read the label for this work and discovered it was made around 1900 by the Fisher Brothers in Melbourne. The title is ‘Mirror’ and it depicts Queen Victoria acid-etched and silvered onto the mirror.

Here are some more images of just how stunning the gallery looks.

Hidden Figures by Daniel Arsham and Fred Wilson

Our focus for the club is the exhibition ‘Hidden Figures’. To start, I just zoomed around the room getting a feel for the space and the kind of artworks on display. It is an eclectic mix of furniture, artworks and sculptures. It is quite a large space (from what I can tell) with stark white walls and light timber flooring. In the middle is a chandelier which seems to hang perfectly in the space. The sculptures are incredible – very ghostly feeling. Especially the one pictured below that’s located on one of the gallery’s walls.

One particular thing that caught my attention, as I was admiring the general space, is this chimneypiece:

As with the mirror, I could zoom in and just make out the artwork label – Chimneypiece from 77 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin. After a quick search online, I actually came across the building this chimneypiece is from on the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage Ireland. Originally owned by William Crosbie (2nd Baron Brandon and 1st Earl of Glandore), the classical Georgian townhouse was purchased in 1911 by the Loreto Order to be transformed into a women’s university hostel. While the interior of the house is, today, quite intact, the two yellow and white marble chimneypieces have been removed. As well as the NGV, Clarence House in London has one in its collection.

If you want to explore ‘Hidden Figures’ click here.

My Creation

Inspired by the chimneypiece, here is my mixed media creation. I wanted it to look more homely and if it was still working, providing warmth on a cold winter’s day.

I’m looking forward to seeing the other artworks this Sunday (over on Alexis Winter’s Instagram). I’m also excited to see what is next for the club and where in the world we will be sent. To finish, here is the link to the club.

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