Friday, December 18, 2009

Looking to cool off this summer?

Come inside- there is lots happening at MGA - from artists talks & poetry readings to sustainable gardening workshops: Download our January & February 2010 Events Calendar!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Paul Knight wins Bowness Photography Prize 2009

The artist Paul Knight has won Australia's most prestigious photographic award, the $20 000 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize for 2009.

Knight's photograph 14 months # 01 was selected by the eminent judging panel as the standout work among the more than 2 000 photographs submitted for this year's prize.

After a rigorous selection process, judges Anne Ferran, Helen Ennis and MGA Director Shaune Lakin chose Knight's intimate portrayal of a man and woman because of its visual purity and tremendous empathy for its subject .

Knight is one of Australia's most significant young photographers. His work is represented in many public collections, including the National Gallery of Victoria, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, and Monash Gallery of Art. He is represented by Neon Parc.

The prize, presented at the MGA on Thursday 26 November at 7:00pm, is a wonderful opportunity to view some of the most important Australian photography produced over the past year.

Melbourne artist Owen Leong was the winner of the $1 000 People's Choice Award 2009

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Bowness Photography Prize has been judged!

Join us for the announcement of the $20,000 winner tonight (Thursday 26 Nov) at 6.30pm.

People's choice voting will close at 7pm and $1,000 winner announced also.

Photographs: Shaune Lakin, Helen Ennis & Anne Ferran

Sunday, November 22, 2009

2009 William & Winifred Bowness Photography Prize

Some of Australia’s most important photographers have been selected as finalists for MGA’s 2009 $20,000 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize.

From 2,000 photographs submitted by 450 entrants, the judging panel has short listed 50 photographs for this year’s prize. In contention are photographs by many of the country’s best-known photographers as well as emerging artists. One of these finalists will win the $20,000 prize and $1,000 People's Choice Award.

Announcement from 6.30Pm Thursday 26th November 2009

Photograph: Bronek KOZKA
EH Holden1964, 2008
ink-jet print
86 x 131 cm
courtesy of the artist and Bett Gallery, Hobart

Friday, October 16, 2009

FREE Surrealist Photography Forum - 2pm next Saturday 24 October!

Join panellists Pat Brassington, Anne Marsh and Adrian Martin for a discussion of surrealism and the medium of photography. Surrounded by the work of Roger Ballen, discover the role of the beautiful, the confronting and the marvellous in photography.

2pm Saturday 24 October 2009
FREE event

Bookings 03 9562 1569 or

image: Roger BALLEN Terminus 2005 Carbon pigment print, copyright Roger Ballen

Monday, September 28, 2009

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

South Africa has been a recurring theme in MGA’s exhibition program this year, from our first show of the year, Then and Now, to the current Roger Ballen exhibition. Tonight’s episode of Louis Theroux’s documentary series apparently focuses on the persistence of exclusively white communities in South Africa. If our exhibitions have peaked your interest in South Africa, you might like to tune in your tube. It screens on Channel 7 at 11:30pm.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Roger Ballen opening 5 September 3.00pm

Come and view the compelling work of Roger Ballen at MGA this Saturday at 3pm!
BRUTAL TENDER HUMAN ANIMAL:Roger Ballen photography
Opening: 3pm Saturday 5 September 2009.
Exhibition dates: 4 September-1 November 2009

MGA is the exclusive Victorian venue for this major survey exhibition.

Internationally renowned photographer Roger Ballen has produced some of the most controversial images of our times. Brutal, tender, human, animal: Roger Ballen photography is Melbourne's only opportunity to experience the work of this award-winning photographer, and to view the extraordinary images that have placed Ballen at the centre of contemporary photography.

An exhibition developed by the Art Gallery of Western Australia

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Come write on our wall - Days 3&4

Thursday 3 September 2009

Wednesday 2 September 2009

Around the Albert Street galleries

The Albert Street Galleries in Richmond just happen to be showcasing some interesting examples of contemporary photography by Melbourne-based artists at the moment.

Karen Woodbury has Jane Burton's latest series, Ivy, on display. It's Jane doing what Jane probably does better than anyone else; gothic psycho-scapes with an antipodean underbelly. This latest body of work goes sepia, evoking daguerreotype dreams of nineteenth century whimsy. See this now! And then look out for her upcoming survey at Glen Eira, which will include work from MGA's collection

Jenny Port Gallery is showing a new body of work by the VCA's wunderkind, Chantal Faust. In the accompanying essay, Ted Colless tells us that the show is all about Chantal giving head to a flat bed scanner. That's a good place to start; the work is more broadly concerned with the digital mediation of intimacy and leads the viewer into some truly fascinating pictorial spaces.

And Anita Traverso Gallery has some photography from its stockroom in their front space. If you missed the solo exhibitions by John Bodin and Onerva Utriainen earlier in 2009, this is your chance to catch-up.
image: Chantal Faust Tiki

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Come draw on our wall! Day 2

Tuesday 1 September

Come draw on our wall!

For the duration of Brutal Tender Human Animal: Roger Ballen Photography a giant blackboard will be located in the foyer of MGA – come and leave your mark!

We'll be documenting each day's progress and once the board is full we'll rub it off so other visitors can contribute

Monday 31 August

Friday, August 21, 2009

2009 William and Winifred Bowness photography prize

Monash Gallery of Art wishes the best of luck to the 450+ entrants of the 2009 William & Winifred Bowness Photography Prize!
Shortlist of finalists will be announced on Friday 11 September 2009.
Exhibition dates: 6 November to 13 December 2009.

MGA goes to Venice

I have taken leave from my position as MGA's Gallery and Curatorial Assistant to spend six weeks working for the Australia Council for the Arts as an Exhibition Attendant at the 2009 Venice Biennale.
The Venice Biennale is an important international contemporary art event and literally takes over the city of Venice. For the full six months of the event, contemporary art can be found in churches, palaces, schools and even the Grand Canal.
There are three sections of the Venice Biennale. These include a major exhibition, this year curated by Daniel Birnbaum, which is held in the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in the Giardini della Biennale and the Arsenale; national representations chosen by participating countries and held in the countries' permanent pavilions in the Giardini or in other sites around Venice; and collateral events, which are exhibitions held to coincide with the Biennale. This year there are a record 77 participating countries.
Australia has had its own permanent pavilion in the Giardini since 1988. This year Australia has sent contemporary artist, Shaun Gladwell to represent the country in the Australian pavilion.
Gladwell's exhibition, MADDESTMAXIMVS, combines a variety of video works, which primarily show Gladwell interacting with the Australian landscape. Alongside the video works, Gladwell has displayed objects used in his videos and these have become artworks in their own right. Gladwell's works are filled with references to art history as well as cinema and contemporary culture.
Gladwell has transformed the Australian pavilion into a dark cave. Its usually white exterior has been blacked out and its usually light filled interior is lit only by plasma screens, projectors, a wall of neon lights illuminating Infinite pentimento 2009 and a light box displaying his work, Absolute event horizon 2009, a series of objects used in his video work, Planet and stars sequence: Barrier Highway, 2009.
Gladwell has even changed the T in the Australia on the front of the pavilion to make it look like a lightening bolt.
Outside the Australian pavilion is a black car, a direct replica of the V8 Interceptor from George Miller's Mad Max films. This car is used by Gladwell in his video work, Interceptor surf sequence 2009, which is on display inside the pavilion on a double-sided screen suspended over the staircase. The work shows the V8 Interceptor driving through the Australian desert. As the car drives down a red dusty road a helmeted figure dressed in black gradually emerges out of the car window and climbs onto the roof standing upright. The performance is the same on each side of the screen; however, while on one side the sky is clear blue, on the other it is grey and stormy. In this work Gladwell focuses on man in the Australian landscape and makes reference to Sidney Nolan's depictions of Ned Kelly, the character of Mad Max and Casper David Fredrick's depictions of man in the sublime landscape.
Visitors may also notice a motorbike wedged into the side wall of the pavilion with most of it outside and a fraction of the front wheel poking through the inside. This bike was used in Gladwell's video work, Apology to roadkill 1—6, which is projected on a large screen upstairs in the pavilion. In this work, Gladwell pulls up on the side of a desert highway, steps off his motorbike, picks up a dead kangaroo and nurses it in his arms. The video shows this performance six times with six different road-killed kangaroos. Presented in slow motion, this work captivates and intrigues visitors and is often singled out as a favourite. This work makes reference to Joseph Beuys's performance, How to explain pictures to a dead hare.
Australia has also organised another exhibition that is on show at the Venice Biennale. Curated by Felicity Fenner, Once removed is an exhibition showing three installations by four Australian contemporary artists all referring to aspects of place and displacement. This exhibition is located between the Giardini della Biennale and the Arsenale, the two major sites of the Biennale. It is housed in an old convent, which is now known as the Ludoteca, a type of play centre with games for children.
In the chapel of the Ludoteca is a site-specific installation by Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro, Life span 2009. This work comprises 175,218 VHS video cassettes arranged to form a solid block. The combined running time of these tapes, if watched one after the other, would be 60.1 years, the average human life span in 1976, the year that the VHS was released. The mass of videos has aesthetic formal qualities and resembles a minimalist sculpture. It was made to the same dimensions as the ceiling fresco above it and so if it were to reach the ceiling it would directly fit around the fresco.
In the next room of Once removed, is Cant Chant (Wegrewhere) 2007-2009 by Vernon Ah Kee. Ah Kee draws on his Indigenous heritage when creating his works and for this installation has suspended surfboards from the ceiling. One side of the surfboards is decorated with his family's traditional shield pattern and the other shows fragments of drawings of his ancestors. The surfboards are hung in front of walls filled with text and are then seen being used by three Aboriginals in the video component of this installation. The video creates a story about Aboriginal surfers reclaiming one of Australia's most populated beaches.
The final installation in Once removed is Sweet Barrier Reef 2005 by Ken Yonetani. This is a floor-based installation made entirely of white sugar. It comprises sculptures of coral made into a garden inspired by Japanese Zen gardens. It is a futuristic depiction of the Great Barrier Reef, bleached by the pollution from industries such as the sugar industry.
While not a comprehensive description of the Australian exhibitions at this year's Venice Biennale, I hope this has provided some insight into the exhibitions Australia has exported to Venice. For further information on these exhibitions, please visit:
I have not yet seen all of the pavilions and exhibitions at the Biennale but so far highlights for me, outside of the Australian exhibitions, have been Zilvinas Kempinas at the Lithuanian pavilion, Krzystztof Wodiczko at the Polish pavilion, Fiona Tan at the Dutch pavilion, The collectors at the Danish and Nordic pavilion and Victory over future at the Russian pavilion.
I have also enjoyed collateral exhibitions including the Francios Pinault Collection at Palazzo Grassi and Punta Della Dogana as well as In-finitum at Museo Fortuny and Unconditional love at the Arsenale.
In terms of photography, there is not a great deal at this year's Biennale. However, there is a very interesting photographic exhibition by Korean artist, Atta Kim. Kim's project, ON-AIR is on diplay at Palazzo Zenobio until 22 November. I really enjoyed discovering this work. For information on this exhibition, see press release:

Friday, July 10, 2009

2009 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize

4 weeks to deadline.
Entries close on 7 August 2009.
$20,000 will be awarded for a single photographic work, as well as a $1,000 people's choice award.

There are no thematic restrictions and the competition is open to all analogue and digital photography.

Entries this year are coming in from a broad cross section of photographers - ranging from documentary photographers to fashion and nature photographers, as well as strong representation from contemporary artists.

Entry forms and terms and Conditions can be downloaded from the MGA website.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Matthias Koch @ MGA

Matthias will be presenting a number of special programs during his short stay in Melbourne:

J oin Matthias as he guides us through an illustrated discussion of his photographic practice. A Q&A session will conclude the talk. Bookings essential.

> ‘Friends of MGA’ EXCLUSIVE – THURSDAY 2 JULY – 6.00pm
An exclusive event for ‘Friends of MGA’ members, join Matthias and Shaune Lakin, Director, MGA for light refreshments and a guided tour of presentation/representation.

> STUDENT TUTORIALS – FRIDAY 3 JULY – limited times available
An exclusive day-long program for tertiary photography students. Bring along your folio and gain unprecedented access to and advice from one of Germany's leading photographers. A series of intimate groups (of no more then 3 students) will spend 1.5 hours sharing and discussing their photographic practice with Matthias. Please contact ‘’ for further information.

An intensive session with Matthias. Hear Matthias speak about his process of working in the field then, inspired by this knowledge, explore and document the industrial landscape surrounding MGA. Participants are required to bring all necessary photographic equipment – please note: you will be walking so wear sturdy shoes. Limited places – bookings essential $30 general public, $20 Friends of MGA.

Join us for refreshments and the opening of presentation/representation: photography from Germany with opening remarks by Professor Claudia Terstappen, Faculty of Art & Design, Monash University.


Download a pdf of programs

MONASH GALLERY OF ART is pleased to welcome leading contemporary German photographer Matthias Koch

Matthias is visiting Melbourne in conjunction with presentation/representation: photography from Germany, an exhibition exploring the contemporary perspectives of 10 German photographers on display at Monash Gallery of Art from 2 July – 30 August 2009
Matthias Koch was a master student of Professor Bernd Becher at the Art Academy Düsseldorf. In his series 'Orte deutscher Geschichte' (sites of German history) Matthias explores historically significant areas and buildings in Germany from an unfamiliar elevated perspective. Although he utilises the language and style of documentary photography Koch is more concerned with "something that you cannot simply see" – the events of the past.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

In the fog this morning...


'Mom and the two kids - demographically Oz' 2001
fibreglass, marine-grade paint

Monday, June 15, 2009

Zooming in: Artist Talk with David Callow

Join David Callow as he discusses his current exhibition 40 000 + 40 and his work with Indigenous communities in remote areas of the Northern Territory and Western Australia.
Host:Monash Gallery of Art
Time:3:00PM Thursday, June 18th
Location:Monash Gallery of Art

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Artist's talk with David Malin: 2.00pm Sunday 14 June

In the world of astronomical photography David Malin is a pioneer.

On Sunday 14 June at 2.00pm in conjunction with MGA's current exhibition Beyond visibility : light and dust, co-curator and photographic scientist-astronomer David Malin will discuss the ideas of Galileo along with his own discoveries in astronomical photography.

Malin's photographs are some of the finest wide-field astronomy pictures made with professional telescopes anywhere in the world and capture the true colours of distant stars, galaxies and nebulae using innovative photographic techniques.

Join us for this unique opportunity. Bookings are essentail ph 9562 1569
Costs $10 general public
$5 Friends of MGA

David Malin has been involved in scientific imaging all his working life. He has published over 120 scientific papers and a similar number of popular articles on astronomy and photography, as well as seven books.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Film screening - Hitchcock's Vertigo Saturday 6 June 2.00pm

Alfred Hitchcock's masterpiece Vertigo will be showing at Monash Gallery of Art - to be introduced by Wendy Haslem, Lecturer, Cinema Studies & Cinema Management, University of Melbourne. Entry by Gold Coin Donation - bookings essential!
Saturday 4 June 2009
2pm start

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Curator's talk: Vertigo, 3.00pm Thursday 4 June

Max Dupain, John Gollings, David Moore, Deborah Paauwe, Wolfgang Sievers, David Stephenson, Simon Terrill, Arthur Wicks

> Join Curator Stephen Zagala in a discussion about MGA's current exhibition Vertigo. Explore the camera's capacity to unsettle our everyday perception of the world through the work of a number of Australian photographers in MGA's collection. The exhibition includes a range of photographs that use extreme camera angles to produce different formal and psychological effects, so that we might see the world afresh.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Exhibition opening David Callow 3.00pm Sunday 17 May 2009

Join us on Sunday at 3.00pm for the opening of David Callow's exhibition 40 000 + 40

To be opened by Rupert Myer AM Chairman, National Gallery of Australia

The exhibition title refers to the 1967 referendum, held to change the Australian Constitution. The referendum ensured that the Federal Government could now include and make law for all Australians, black and white without discrimination, and that all Australians would be counted as one and recognised officially in any future census.

Rupert Myer AM, Chairman, National Gallery of Australia, has travelled with David to remote communities and says," I immediately recognised in David's photographs his ability to portray an extraordinary range of personalities. David's portraiture shows a deep respect for, understanding of and connection with the individuals and communities of the Northern Territory and as with all good photography his work draws out the vitality, humour and individuality of his subjects".

David’s photograph of Cathy Freeman’s triumphant moment at the 1994 Commonwealth Games has become an iconic image for our times.

In 2001 David received the World press photo gold medal for his work on the Sydney Olympics.

David will be giving an artist's talk on Thursday 18 June at 3.00pm

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Exhibition openings this Saturday 9 May at 3.00pm

Installing Beyond visibility: light & dust 2009 © Monash Gallery of Art photo: Stephanie Richter

Join us this Saturday
9 May at 3.00pm for the joint openings of two exhibitions that present pictures of space.

Beyond visibility: light and dust an exhibition celebrating the International Year of Astronomy in 2009
that draws on the history of human efforts to make pictures the cosmos and includes work by Felicity Spear, David Malin and Gulumbu Yunupingu. To be opened by Dr Tanya Hill, Curator (Astronomy), Melbourne Planetarium.

Vertigo is
an exhibition that explores the camera's capacity to unsettle our everyday perception of the world. It draws on the work of a number of Australian photographers from MGA's Collection and will opened by Dr Shaune Lakin, Director, MGA.

Both exhibitions will run from 8 May - 28 June 2009

We hope to see you there!

Monday, May 4, 2009

2009 Bowness Photography Prize

The William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize is now open for entries.
The $20 000 non-acquisitive prize makes it one of Australia's most prestigous awards.

The judging panel comprises:
Helen Ennis is currently Senior Lecturer in Art Theory and Associate Head, Undergraduate, at the Australian National University School of Art.
Anne Ferran is one of Australia's leading contemporary photographers
Shaune Lakin, Director of MGA.

Go to the link and download an entry form


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