Home-Grown art a crowd favourite at NGV

NGV-Rel-Pham-Temple-2022-2023-photo-by-Sean-FennessyThe National Gallery of Victoria’s epic celebration of home-grown art and design Melbourne Now has proven a smash hit with the exhibition welcoming hundreds of thousands of visitors over its five-month run – with support from the Victorian Government.

A total of 433,575 people attended the second edition of Melbourne Now – which closed on 20 August, making it one of the most popular exhibitions at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia.

“The success and popularity of Melbourne Now reflects the calibre of work being produced by our local creative community, and demonstrates the huge appetite in Victoria for contemporary art and design,” Minister for Creative Industries Steve Dimopoulos.

“Not only has this exhibition been a winner for art lovers, it has provided career-boosting opportunities for 200 local artists and designers, through direct investment in their work and by showcasing their art to a huge audience.”

“We back our  creative industries because they contribute more than $38 billion to the economy and employ more than 300,000 Victorians,” said Minister Dimopoulos.

Taking over all levels of the gallery, Melbourne Now showcased Victoria’s reputation as the creative state through the work of more than 200 Victorian-based emerging and established artists, designers, studios and firms.

Through the Victorian Foundation for Living Australian Artists – a joint fund established by the NGV and the Victorian Government – the exhibition provided more than $1.5 million to Victorian creatives through acquiring, commissioning and presenting new works.

Many of the works in Melbourne Now are now part of the permanent NGV Collection, providing a lasting legacy for the people of Victoria. Several will go on display when The Fox: NGV Contemporary is built as part of the Government’s $1.7 billion Melbourne Arts Precinct Transformation project.

The free exhibition included more than 70 never-before seen works commissioned especially by the NGV for the exhibition including artist and animator Rel Pham’s neon lit installation TEMPLE, Troy Emery’s Mountain climber  and Jenna Lee’s luminous paper lanterns inspired by Gulumerridjin (Larrakia) dilly bags.

The exhibition also profiled the state’s design industry, showcasing leading projects across architecture, product design, fashion design and more.

Here at the NGV, we believe one of our most important roles is to provide a platform for local artists and designers,” said National Gallery of Victoria Director, Tony Ellwood AM.

Through this presentation, we have been able to share the important work of more than 200 Victorian practitioners with nearly half a million visitors.”

The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia is NGV’s home of Australian art including historical and contemporary First Peoples art, iconic historical artworks, contemporary fashion, design and much more. For more information, visit: www.ngv.vic.gov.au for details.

Image: Rel Pham, TEMPLE, 2022-2023, installation view at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia as part of Melbourne Now –  photo by Sean Fennessy