After 121 days, 600 events and over 753,000 visitors, Melbourne Now finally closed its doors on Sunday 23 March. The most ambitious exhibition ever mounted by the NGV, the exhibition heralded a new era, encouraging the full spectrum of creative contemporary practice across the visual arts, design, architecture, sound, dance, fashion, performance and film.
“Melbourne Now has been transformative, both for the organisation and we hope for our audiences and the artists involved,” says Tony Ellwood, Director of the NGV.
“Working with over 400 artists, 30 curators and over 70 donors and organisations to bring this project to life has rewarded us in more ways than we could have imagined. It has left legacies on a number of levels, from acquisitions and raising the profile of the artists involved, to building new and lasting relationships.”
“With such extraordinary visitation, it has reinforced our belief that contemporary art is of real relevance and interest to audiences today. Melbourne Now has certainly inspired us to elevate our aspirations. We couldn’t be happier.”
“Crucially Melbourne Now has inspired us to explore collaboration further and in general to take more creative risks. This has given us the ability to conceive and deliver a bold new initiative, NGV Triennial, which commences in 2017.”
The Melbourne Now exhibition saw 753,071 people visit the gallery over two sites including satellite events throughout the city. This is an increase of 32% compared with the same time period in 2012-13, equating to an extra 181,000 people.
The exhibition uniquely included visual arts, design, architecture, filmmaking, fashion, dance, sound and performance with over 175 separate projects featuring over 400 artists and creative practitioners, with more 100 works of art acquired, creating a long term legacy with the growth of the NGV’s contemporary art collection.
“Melbourne Now has brought together the vibrant arts and design community of Melbourne, tapping into the creative energy that runs through Australia’s cultural capital,” says Heidi Victoria MP, Minister for the Arts.
“It has been a unique showcase for the enormous creative talent that exists here. I congratulate the NGV on attracting such an impressive number of visitors to the exhibition and also for reaching such a wide audience, including so many families and children. I’m delighted that Arts Victoria has played a significant part in helping to fund this extraordinary exhibition.”
For more information, visit: www.ngv.vic.gov.au for details.
Image: Children place some of the 90,000 bird stickers used on Juan Ford’s landscape – courtesy of the NGV