More than one million Thumbs Up for NGV Triennial

NGV Triennial David Shrigley Really Good at NGV International photo by Sean FennessyCaptivating crowds of all ages over its four-month run, the world-class NGV Triennial exhibition backed by the Victorian Government has ended after attracting more than one million visitors – making it one of the gallery’s most popular exhibitions ever.

Minister for Creative Industries Colin Brooks marked the milestone, with one million visitors passing through the doors of Australia’s most popular gallery right here in Melbourne.

“This free exhibition attracted more than a million people of all ages, backgrounds and walks of life – from right across Victoria and well beyond – supporting local jobs, businesses and our economy. Yet another reminder we are the cultural heartbeat of this nation,” said Minister for Creative Industries Colin Brooks.

Free for all to attend, NGV Triennial took over all four levels of NGV International – and from a talkative mouse to robot dogs trained to paint, featured works from more than 120 artists from Victoria, Australia and around the world.

First Peoples artworks were among the highlights including an eight-metre-long bronze eel trap by Wurundjeri artist Aunty Kim Wandin and a 100-metre-long woven fish fence produced by 13 artists and three apprentices in Maningrida, Arnhem Land.

UK satirist and artist David Shrigley’s massive thumbs up sculpture, Really good, grabbed attention on the forecourt, and will stay in Victoria permanently as part the NGV Collection, thanks to the generosity of the Felton Bequest.

The free late-night Triennial EXTRA program attracted 40,000 over 10 days, while the NGV Kids Summer Festival presented fun family activities for more than 14,000 participants.

“The incredible popularity of the NGV Triennial reveals our community’s desire for exhibitions that reflect our contemporary times, life and culture,” said NGV Director Tony Ellwood AM.

“These extraordinary attendance figures embolden us in our vision for The Fox: NGV Contemporary, which will become our nation’s largest gallery dedicated exclusively to contemporary art and design – and the future home of the NGV Triennial.”

Victorians and visitors from interstate and overseas can expect even more jaw-dropping art and design exhibitions and experiences when Australia’s largest gallery dedicated to contemporary art and design, The Fox: NGV Contemporary opens in 2028.

Works now underway as part of the Victorian Government’s city-shaping Melbourne Arts Precinct Transformation project – creating more than 11,000 jobs during construction and more ongoing local jobs once complete.

While NGV Triennial may have closed, thanks to popular demand the kids exhibition RIFIFI: Jean Jullien for Kids will be extended until 14 April at NGV International so even more families can enjoy this interactive exhibition over the school holidays.

For more free family fun these holidays, head to The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia to see the free Top Arts 2024; Fed Square for interactive performances, free exhibitions at ACMI; kids workshops and events at State Library Victoria.

Image: David Shrigley, Really Good, installation view outside NGV International – photo by Sean Fennessy