La Biennale di Venezia 2015: art, food and wine overload

artists, Venice tours

I have just returned from the third walk to art Venice. It was another fabulous trip, overloaded with art, food and wine…

I am slowly digesting the wonderful time I had – a great group of people, a few standout works of art and not to forget the Prosecco!

The 56th International Art Exhibition in Venice titled All The World’s Futures was curated by Nigerian born Okwui Enwezor and organized by La Biennale di Venezia. There were 136 artists representing 88 participant nations, as well as 44 collateral events approved by the curator, all scattered around Venice in disused palazzos.

We stood proud in front of the newly built Australian pavilion, making it the 30th national pavilion to be built in the Giardini. Denton Corker Marshall designed the new pavilion and Fiona Hall’s work captured the eyes of many.

Highlights for all of us in this year’s walk to art Venice were: the Japanese pavilion, Jaume Plensa’s work in the Basilica of San Giorgio Maggiore and The Bridges of Graffiti.

installation by Chiharu Shiot
Japan’s pavilion was an exquisite installation by Chiharu Shiot (pictured above). Thousands of old keys showered down from the ceiling into tangled nets of crimson thread, some slipping through, others caught in wooden boats straight out of Hokusai. This work was simply beautiful creating and intensely meditative atmosphere.

artwork by Jaume Plensa
On the island of San Giorgio we viewed Jaume Plensa‘s outstanding works (pictured above). A group of five alabaster sculptures of five teenaged girls from around the world, carved using reformed scans, were visually stunning and intimate. The luminosity of the portraits and the chosen long dark space of the Officina dell’Arte Spirituale created a reflective and emotional experience for all.

The Bridges of Graffiti artwork
On a lighter note, The Bridges of Graffiti was a brilliantly curated exhibition by Francesca Alinovi. A great collateral event celebrating the history of graffiti with ten artists – Boris Tellegen, Doze Green, Eron, Futura, Mode2, SKKI ©, Jayone, Todd James, Teach, Zero-T. They all worked together for the very first time, bringing to life a single cohesive Hall of Fame piece within the Arterminal walls, with the site-specific works conceived especially for the exhibition.

And, on a food note, standing up and eating fresh pasta at Bigoi, ordering the brioche con marmellata at Tonolo and drinking Prosecco with all the Venetians behind the Rialto market on a Saturday night under the stars made this trip one to remember.

I am looking forward to the next Venice trip in October 2017.

walk to art to celebrate its 10th anniversary where it all began: New York

New York tours

walk to art will turn ten in 2016 and to celebrate I have launched a 10th anniversary walk to art New York tour.

It’s about going back to where this journey began – walk to art was conceived in New York, in my walks from Brooklyn to Chelsea. In that time I explored quirky art spaces, creative studios, music and eateries. I people watched every day on the trains and on the street and I searched for the best coffee in town. So it seems New York is the most fitting place to celebrate walk to art’s 10th birthday.

photo of New York City

As usual there will be no itinerary given upfront and you just need to trust that you are in very safe hands.

My essential list will give you the rundown of organic grocers, fabulous brunch places, favourite coffee hangouts, burgers, bagels, corn with cream cheese, oyster bars, underground Mexican, diners and more.

  • We will stay in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and enjoy the local cafes and bars.
  • Our days will be filled with art, food and activity, finishing with the perfect Negroni or Martini.
  • We travel mostly in the afternoons and there are no forced dinners.
  • We will walk, travel the trains and experience a new borough, discovering art spaces, studios and interesting people.

Do you need more reasons to be part of this? You may be in need of a creative break to help you discover the artist within, an educator wanting to refresh your knowledge of contemporary art, an artist wishing to connect to the New York scene or just a lover of life…

photo of New York City

Join me on this special New York art tour in September 2016 to experience a walk through the remarkable back streets and to discover the abundance of culture that makes this city so special.

Get all the information about walk to art New York.


Let’s celebrate the Melbourne man (ladies welcome)

artists, spaces

Festival of Steve logoHow about entering one of the most respected senior private members clubs in the City of Melbourne? One that is considered quirky, whilst respectful of tradition? And with more than a century of history?

The Kelvin Club is celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2015 and opening its doors on Saturday 23 May 2015 at 12pm to host the Festival of Steve.

In its third year, Festival of Steve is an event to celebrate the Melbourne man. The official program includes talks, art, fashion, grooming with whisky and gin for all! There will also be entertainment after dark and the activation of the Melbourne Place Laneway, address of The Kelvin Club. It will be “a day for the modern man”, but ladies are welcome.


art from BabyGuerrilla

When it comes to art, BabyGuerrilla (photo) will be pasting “Steve” on the wall of The Kelvin Club and Ryan F Kennedy will be weaving “Steve’s” jacket, which will be auctioned later into the night.

You can view the full program on the City Precinct website. To stay abreast of Steve, follow him (#FestivalOfSteve) on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


The Kelvin Club
Melbourne Place (view location on Google Maps)

Saturday 23 May 2015, 12pm to 8pm

Travel destination: art fairs or art is the reason why I travel

artists, spaces, Venice tours

I think my last actual holiday was 9 years ago. All my trips are for work – I am on tour, at an art fair or at least art is the reason I am travelling.

There is a blurred line between rest, play and work… it’s all in one big bubble!

On that note, here are some art fairs that are happening this year, not to mention the La Biennale di Venezia – 56th International Art Exhibition. Fiona Hall AO will represent Australia in our new pavilion designed by Denton Corker Marshall. And, of course, walk to art will be there in October.


Art Basel Hong Kong
Art Basel Hong Kong
15 to 17 March 2015
VIP preview: 14 March

Why you should go: Art Basel stages the world’s premier modern and contemporary art shows, held annually in Basel, Miami Beach and Hong Kong. Founded by gallerists in 1970, Art Basel has been a driving force in supporting the role that galleries play in the nurturing of artists, and the development and promotion of visual arts. There are 6 sectors: Galleries, Insights, Discoveries, Encounters, Magazines and Film. An extensive calendar of events is also on offer (starting from 10 March), as well as talks, discussions and films, pop-up bars, etc.

My advice: Go through the list of events before you leave and book online as you could miss out.


Art Central Hong Kong
Art Central Hong Kong
14 to 16 March 2015
VIP preview: 13 March

Why you should go: Art Central is Hong Kong’s exciting new art fair, showcasing the next generation of talents alongside some of the most established contemporary galleries and art spaces from across the globe. There will be 3 sectors: Central, Rise and Projects. This is Art Central’s debut in Hong Kong, and galleries from Sydney and Melbourne are participating.


Frieze Art Fair New York
Frieze Art Fair New York
14 to 17 May 2015

Why you should go: Frieze New York is one of the world’s leading contemporary art fairs located on Randall’s Island Park, in Manhattan. Frieze New York brings together the most exciting contemporary galleries around the globe as well as the non-profit program that includes artist commissions, talks and education activities.


ART 15, London
ART 15, London
21 to 23 May 2015
VIP preview: 20 May

Why you should go: Art15, the third edition of London’s global art fair, will bring together 150 of the world’ s most exciting galleries from 40 countries. They will showcase the masters of the modern era through to leading international artists from the contemporary scene. From Amman to Amsterdam, New York to New Delhi and Sao Paulo to Seoul, the fair will present art from across the globe.


Richard Avedon People: back to NY and incredible photography without leaving Melbourne

artists, spaces

There are many things I miss about New York City. I miss Brooklyn, I miss my favourite café (Bakeri in Williamsburg) and I miss the art.

Recently over coffee, my dear friend Christopher Köller reminded me about the Richard Avedon (1923–2004) exhibition at The University of Melbourne’s The Ian Potter Museum of Art: Richard Avedon People. The other day I went there without expectations and walked out with a sense of having just travelled. Travelled back to NYC and travelled back to incredible photography.

I am “old school”; I only shoot with a Rolleiflex and film is my loyal friend… I know how to work it; I like the surprises and the mistakes and the quality of a 6 x 6 negative. A silver gelatin print always captures my attention and eye.

Writer Truman Capote by Richard Avedon (New York City, 1955)
Writer Truman Capote by Richard Avedon (New York City, 1955)

The Ian Potter Museum of Art is a beautiful space. The eighty works by Avedon are presented over two levels in partnership with The Richard Avedon Foundation (New York) and the National Portrait Gallery (Canberra).

“One of the world’s great photographers, Avedon is best known for transforming fashion photography from the late 1940s onwards. The full breadth of Avedon’s renowned work is revealed in this stunning exhibition of 80 black and white photographs dating from 1949 to 2002. Avedon’s instantly recognisable iconic portraits of artists, celebrities, and countercultural leaders feature alongside his less familiar portraiture works that capture ordinary New Yorkers going about their daily lives, and the people of America’s West. With uncompromising rawness and tenderness, Avedon’s photographs capture the character of individuals extraordinary in their uniqueness and united in their shared experience of humanity.”

Avedon printed each work before his death in 2004, whilst on assignment at the age of 81. Richard Avedon People is on until 15 March 2015.

The Ian Potter Museum of Art
The University of Melbourne
Swanston Street (view location on Google Maps)
Parkville VIC 3010

Until 15 March

Tuesday to Friday, 10am to 5pm
Saturday and Sunday 12pm to 5pm

My must-see art exhibitions in Melbourne this summer

artists, spaces

Summer is here again and this is the best time to be in Melbourne. Why? Here is my short list to enjoy art over the sunny days:


Artwork by Loretta Lux, part of the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art's Menagerie exhibition

ACCA (Australian Centre for Contemporary Art)
Menagerie (free)

Until 1 March 2015

111 Sturt Street, Southbank (view location on Google Maps)

Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm
Wednesday, 10am to 8pm
Closed Christmas Day (25 December) and New Year’s Day (1 January)


RMIT GalleryExperimenta Recharge: sixth international biennial of media art (free)

Until 21 February 2015

344 Swanston Street, Melbourne (view location on Google Maps)

Monday to Friday, 11am to 5pm
Saturday, 12pm to 5pm
Closed Christmas Day (25 December), Boxing Day (26 December) and New Year’s Day (1 January)


TarraWarra Museum of Art

The Drunken Buddha – Ian Fairweather
Paintings and Drawings – Tony Tuckson
Found in translation – Gosia Wlodarczak

Until 15 March 2015

311 Healesville-Yarra Glen Road, Tarrawarra (view location on Google Maps)

Tuesday to Sunday, 11am to 5pm
Closed Christmas Day (25 December)

Admission: Adults $14, seniors $12, concession $10 (children 16 and under, students and pension card holders), children 12 and under free


McClelland Gallery and Sculpture ParkMcClelland Sculpture Survey & Awards 2014 (entry by donation)

Until 19 July 2015

390 McClelland Drive, Langwarrin (view location on Google Maps)

Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm
Closed Christmas Day (25 December), Boxing Day (26 December) and New Year’s Day (1 January)


Italy’s La Biennale di Venezia: a journey of discovery like no other

Venice tours

Where will you be in a year’s time? What will you be doing? No ideas, no plans?
I would like to invite you to join me in a journey of discovery like no other:
Italy’s La Biennale di Venezia in October 2015.

You may already know that the Biennale is considered the most important and prestigious event on the international contemporary arts calendar, and the oldest and largest established biennale in the world.

You may also know that Australia has been consistently represented in the Biennale for more than 3 decades, through the financial support and management of the Australia Council for the Arts.

But these are not the only reasons why I created walk to art Venice in 2011.

For me, it is important to travel and view art on an international level. It’s exciting to view new spaces, art in different spaces and art that is contributing to our environment politically, socially and culturally.

  • Eat, drink and walk your way through Venice.
  • Visit Australia’s new pavilion at the Biennale in 2015.
  • Explore the pavilions in the Giardini and Arsenale and, most importantly,
    the art scattered throughout Venice. These exhibits are in various locations hidden in opulent Venetian buildings.

You will receive a “pack” that includes the meeting spots and destinations for each day (these are never revealed upfront). Your guide, Bernadette Alibrando, will also take you to quirky bars and local eateries, plus areas around Venice.


Venice (Italy)


View all the details of walk to art Venice 2015. If you want to know more, read about the Biennale in the Venice tours category of this blog.

For further details, please contact walk to art.

Let’s discover Melbourne Central’s art (for free!)

artists, Melbourne tours

When I received a call from Melbourne Central, a large shopping complex located in the heart of Melbourne, and was asked if I could conduct tours for them, I was a little unsure if there was enough art in the centre to chat about.

I have been pleasantly surprised and I am happy to announce 2 free walk to art tours at Melbourne Central this September:

Date: Sunday 21 September and Sunday 28 September
Time: 2pm to 3.30pm
Cost: Free
Bookings: Essential (go to Melbourne Central‘s website)

Did you know that Melbourne Central is home to one of Victoria’s largest public artworks? The 61-metre long mural, completed by Geoff Hogg in 1984, is now heritage listed and one of the highlights of our tour.


Geometric sculptures (bottom left) by Caleb Shea and 'Filling the Mould' (top right) by Hamish Munro at Melbourne Central, in Melbourne

Join us and you will also see:

  • Hamish Munro‘s inflatable sculpture “Filling the Mould”, which won the inaugural The Kisho Prize (2013) and is designed to inflate according to the number of people inside the centre at any time (photo, top right).
  • Work by street artist INSA
  • geometric sculptures by Caleb Shea (photo, bottom left).

Let’s travel the lanes around Melbourne Central and discover something you have never seen or noticed before.

I look forward to seeing you on our tour!

August: busy time for the arts in Melbourne

artists, spaces

August is a busy time in the arts scene in Melbourne, and I’d like to share three highlights with you:


Melbourne Art Fair; Royal Exhibition Building; 13-17 August 2014

Melbourne Art Fair
13 to 17 August 2014
Royal Exhibition Building
9 Nicholson Street, Carlton (view location on Google Maps)

Melbourne Art Fair is a biannual event, and this year will present 70 leading Australian and international galleries, representing over 300 artists who work across a range of media, including painting, sculpture, photography, video and installation.

The Collector Program delivers exclusive access to collection tours, dinners and cocktail events, and there are lectures and forums to attend, as well as:

  • MAF Platform – A new initiative for 2014, introducing young galleries and artist run initiatives (ARIs) showcasing emerging talent.
  • MAF Video – MAF Video presents a group exhibition from participating galleries of video works by artists at the forefront of their field.
  • MAF Project Rooms – Project Rooms is a non-profit platform showcasing innovative experimental artwork from a new generation of emerging artists.

The art fair opens on Wednesday 13 August for the vernissage, between 6pm and 10pm. These are the opening hours for the following days:

Thursday 14 August, 11am to 6pm
Friday 15 August, 11am to 8pm
Saturday 16 August, 10am to 6pm
Sunday 17 August, 10am to 5pm

Book for tickets at the Melbourne Art Fair website.


14 to 17 August 2014
12 Peel Street, Collingwood (view location on Google Maps)
The Grace Darling Hotel, Collingwood (view location on Google Maps)

Established in 2010 as a satellite art fair to the Melbourne Art Fair, NotFair maintains a unique structure. Rather than being managed and curated by commercial galleries, as is the traditional approach, NotFair is curated to the highest professional standards on the basis solely of artistic merit.

Tight and independent curatorial direction within an art fair structure enhances the provenance of each artist’s career, and provides NotFair greater scope to become a satellite to major art fairs around the globe.

Artists exhibiting in the Not Fair are:

  • Aly Aitken
  • Ben Aitken
  • Mary Barton
  • Sarah Berners
  • Drasko Boljevic
  • Barbara Bolt
  • Nyah Isabel Cornish
  • Jessica Curry
  • Christopher Dolman
  • Sarah Duyshart
  • Danny Frommer
  • Harley Grundy
  • Megan Hales
  • Hari Ho
  • Talitha Kennedy
  • Daniel McCabe
  • Murray McKeich
  • Emme Orbach
  • John Pastoriza-Pinol
  • Peter Thomas
  • Dean Thompson
  • Paul Williams
  • Siying Zhou.

Preview Thursday 14th, 6pm to 8pm
Friday and Saturday 11am to 6pm
Sunday 11am to 5pm


And, if you are not too exhausted by art, head to the gracious Hotel Windsor for…

14 to 17 August 2014
The Hotel Windsor
111 Spring Street, Melbourne (view location on Google Maps)

SPRING 1883 is a new art fair which will present 20 galleries, each exhibiting in a suite at The Hotel Windsor in Melbourne. The galleries that have been invited to exhibit are from Australia, New Zealand, Europe and United States, and they share a conceptual engagement, ensuring a high calibre event and an interesting dialogue between galleries, artists and collectors.


The art of applying to art prizes


The face that stops a nation (Archibald Prize)

It can be a full-time job entering art prizes.

The process is long:

  • reading the rules and regulations
  • considering the artwork
  • making the artwork
  • photographing the artwork
  • labelling the artwork
  • delivering the artwork
  • and then there is the wait… waiting for the work to be short listed and then waiting for the winner to be announced.

The outcomes can be very rewarding – the golden ticks. A golden tick from the inner art world circle, a golden tick on the CV, a golden tick from the collectors and, of course, the golden dollars attached to each prize.

What happens if one’s artwork is not selected? The artist feels rejected, insecurities set in and they question… “Why do I do this?”, “Should I bother applying again?”, “I’m not good enough or young enough to compete with the cool cats.”

I have many dear friends who are going through this exact process and it is one that is tedious and laborious.

In July there are 3 major prizes that are being announced:

The Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes are annual exhibitions supported by the
Art Gallery of NSW:

  • The Archibald Prize, first awarded in 1921, is given to the best portrait painting. The Archibald Prize is a who’s who of Australian culture – from politicians to celebrities, sporting heroes to artists.
  • The Wynne Prize is awarded to the best landscape painting of Australian scenery or figure sculpture.
  • The Sulman Prize is given to the best subject painting, genre painting or mural project in oil, acrylic, watercolour or mixed media.

Each year, the trustees of the Art Gallery of NSW judge the Archibald and Wynne Prizes, and they invite an artist to judge the Sulman Prize. In 2014 it is Jenny Watson.

It is also a busy time of the year for art couriers, as they deliver the works to the Art Gallery of NSW. While most art prizes in Australia allow the artists to submit their entries online, with the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman the works must be delivered to the Art Gallery of NSW to be viewed in the flesh by the judges.

The winners will be announced on 18 July and the highly anticipated exhibition can be viewed between 19 July and 28 September.