Getting a lift

 
Rhonda Dredge

The Downtown gallery at Deakin University’s city campus has closed, a disappointing development in the local art scene.

The gallery was a unique experiment in on the 12th floor of Tower Two at Collins Square.

The space has been repurposed, according to university staff.

A few carved forms are scattered around the foyer but no new exhibitions are planned.

 

 

This is a blow to Docklanders seeking the kind of intelligent analysis of the culture that well-run galleries provide.

Memorable among the gallery’s exhibitions was one dedicated to Alfred Deakin which included some political cartoons that lampooned the former Prime Minister.

Another brought the paintings of Indigenous prisoners into the city for exposure, further supporting the important place art can have in changing perceptions.

Art is not just about making pretty pictures. To an increasing number in the community, it has become a religion.

 

On May 5, the Next Wave art festival will open at the Mission to Seafarers.

 

The Next Wave is a collective of artists whose stated aim is for the world to be run by artists.

The collective favours working with elders to develop skills and their projections are being installed in the Mission’s Norla Dome.

As the Docklands art scene re-establishes itself after the pandemic, private enterprise and not-for-profits are holding their own.

An exhibition of photographs is on at the 18 Pence café at the base of Tower Four in Yarra’s Edge. The show is relevant to the local community, focusing as it does on Webb Bridge.

Love Where You Live features the work of local resident Pete Brehant, an enterprising abstractionist who has turned to photography.

For those looking for the kind of satirical oomph not usually found in cafes but once on show at Deakin, the linocut prints of Rona Green are on at Library on the Dock.

This is a strong exhibition featuring confident animals in a range of disguises.

There are cocky cockatoos, ironic koalas, a party (mag)pie and a slick dog in a suit and glasses called Specky.

All in all, Docklands has a lot to offer in the art department and you don’t need to push a button to get a lift.

As ready as ever, Rona Green, Library at the Dock, until May 14; Next Wave Festival, Mission to Seafarers, May 5. •

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