You’ll hear the repeat of Melbourne is “so cultured”, Melbourne has “the best coffee” or even “Melbournians have the best style”. The initial art form which has inspired this so called “culture”, or “best coffee” or even “best style” begins with the core that is Melbourne city architecture. The architectural development of the city occurred during the 18th Century until the 19th Century, in which many of its buildings project this era. Be sure to bring along a camera to take some cool shots if you like to geek over the fine details of your surroundings.
I can revisit this city over and over again and highly doubt that boredom would cross me. That’s just a personal opinion but then again this is a popular feeling shared by many who have had a chance to visit Melbourne and like myself they have returned.
This time round I found myself to be immersed and in adoration of the architect and details located on Collins Street, AKA Paris End. Paris End is self explanatory on its own, and what gives this location its Parisian flare?
That it possesses a sense of glamour and the French are all about the chic and glamour. You will find high end labels, accommodating to names such as Chanel and Louis Vuitton. Gothic-style churches and also theatres linger on the leafy street. An illustration very much similar to that of the Champ Elysees back in Paris. Another reason to visit Melbourne, there’s a piece of Paris that can found close by!
It’s well known that Melbourne has great coffee. Great anything is inspired by a great something. A coffee break should be enjoyed with a delightful piece of pastry. In which great coffee inspires great pastries or is it great pastries inspires great coffee? That’s an arguable case of which came first the hen or the chicken but whatever it is, it definitely contributes to that “cultured” vibe of Melbourne.
What makes Melbourne such an exciting city to revisit is that you will find yourself discovering new places each time you return back as it is a city that is always able to offer something new or you will discover a place or detail in which you didn’t notice before. A city devoted to the arts – showcasing new artwork and also old artwork.
We were able to catch the exhibition of Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei which was featured at the National Gallery of Victoria located in Southbank, two weeks before it ended in April. They were prominent artists of the 20th and 21st century in which their contemporary artwork was a reflection of their time, expressing both cultural and political issues.
Even though the gallery showcased it as “The” exhibition of Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei, these were two separate artists, each to their own, coming from two different places. Warhol from America and Weiwei from China – two countries both going through political and cultural changes during their time and today regarded as power countries with China’s booming economy and America with its continuous political power play.
Another element which made this exhibition wonderful is the idea that 2 different artists each with their own contexts and stories were able to express matters and feelings through their artworks during the same time line and in a sense these expressions about the ‘State Vs. The Individual’ were able to be aligned.
Winson being a tourist.
Warhol and Ai Weiwei understood that the world was being controlled by politicians and larger corporations. In which the government and companies promoted the idea that they were making just decisions for the general public. But in reality, there is always that element of power hunger, rather than just making decisions to benefit the greater party – the public, some of these decisions are made to benefit themselves.
I found a lot of bravery in both of Warhol and Weiwei’s artworks as they were not scared to explore these ideas of exploitation from the government and large corporations.
Both of these artists were able to poke fun at these two sectors in society, the name of the game was to bring them down from their pedestal through the use of light humour. They executed the humour through a variety of creative platforms and utilising pop colour to highlight the lighter side to politics but at the same time using repetition of the graphics to enforce and acknowledge the reality of the consequences of the government.
There will definitely be another visit to Melbourne in the future, as there’s no loss in returning to a city that doesn’t disappoint.
For further information about the exhibition it can be found through:
Although the gallery no longer features these 2 great artists it is definitely still worth checking out the other artworks. From the 25th of March, 2016 until the 19th of June, 2016 the gallery is presenting the iconic Whistler’s Mother by the artist James McNeill Whistler.
For further information about the NGV it can be found through: