Iconic Melbourne site turned into a pop-up public art gallery

An old warehouse next to the iconic Nylex clock and silos has been transformed by 25 of the world’s hottest urban street artists into a pop-up festival and art exhibition throughout April in support of The Reach Foundation.

The stunning makeover titled Untold has seen three levels of the abandoned building converted by the artists into an interactive and immersive sensory experience where guests can view works, participate in festival activities, and see inside a unique part of Melbourne that has previously been off-limits to the public.

As well as preparing original artwork for the auction, some of the artists are transforming the walls and internal features of a three-storey, red brick barley storage building from the 1940s into a multi-sensory and immersive art experience for visitors to wander through and enjoy. Heritage Victoria signed-off on plans to alter the interior walls of the building, which will also double as art exhibition space over the festival.

Artists participating in Untold have been hand-picked to form an elite showcase of the finest contemporary and urban artists from Australia and beyond. With around 25 of the world’s brightest and best artists, this will be a phenomenal display of immersive and interactive installations, housed within the unique setting of The Malt District.

Many of the artists participating in the project are renowned in Australia and abroad, and include acclaimed foreign contemporary urban artists INSA, Adnate, The London Police and Mysterious Al, and locals Anthony Lister, Ben Frost, and Georgia Hill.

Melbourne-based Columbian artist Julian Clavijo, who recently had a colourful 450 square metre mural unfurled on the side of the Nylex silos, is also involved, as is UK artist Ben Eine whose works were gifted to US President Barack Obama by Prime Minister David Cameron in 2010.

Untold is a tribute to the art and exhibition being themed around the untold stories of people, places, journeys and transformation. Organisers are hoping 10,000 people will visit the site during festival – which also features musical acts and entertainment, food trucks, merchandise of some of the artwork prepared for the auction, and other interactive activities.

Situated on the former Richmond malting site, home to the landmark silos and the Nylex Clock, The Malt District development will feature modern apartments, generous public space, creative studios, galleries, boutique workspaces and retail. Honouring the site’s industrial heritage, it will become a revitalised destination for people who want to live, work, visit and be inspired by Melbourne’s thriving creative spirit.

“Reach does fantastic work with young people and we thought The Malt District would be the perfect venue for the Untold festival, and to showcase the talents of local and international artists and raise money for Reach,” said Joe Russo, CEO Caydon (The Malt District developer).

“With Melbourne being the cultural and arts capital of Australia, it is a source of immense pride that this initiative has attracted such a large and high-profile group of young artists to Melbourne.”

Untold continues until 29 April 2018 at 2 – 8 Gough St, Cremorne. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit: untold.melbourne for details.

Image: Untold Exhibition (installation view) – photo by Rohan Shearn