Commercial galleries, warehouse space and hotel installation: that's art in Naarm / Melbourne

artists, spaces

15 August 2012

Melbourne Art Fair for 2012 has come and gone, and it was a little quieter than its 2010 edition. However, still very successful with $8 million in sales and 27,000 visitors. For the invited commercial galleries, it is a significant investment, not only in time but also dollars.

An event like this can be overwhelming and cause some visual overload. Personally, I prefer exhibitions that are on at the same time as the fair, are free and available to everyone. Not Fair Art Fair Primal Mutation, launching undiscovered and emerging artists curated by Melissa Amore, Ashley Crawford and Sam Leach, was entertaining and a fabulous use of 1000 Pound Bend's warehouse back space. I loved the laneway entry and it was exciting to see such a quirky artistic space in the CBD.

One of my favourite exhibitions was at Sofitel Melbourne on Collins (25 Collins Street, Melbourne; view location on Google Maps). Gosia Wlodarczak was the sixth artist welcomed by the hotel's annual Artist in Residence program.

She has previously exhibited at the Singapore Biennale, the Drawing Centre in New York and at the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) in Brisbane (view image). Over July, Gosia produced a drawing installation on the hotel's lobby windows. Guests were able to watch the artist draw and people were invited to observe her performance.

image from Gosia Wlodarczak's Frost Drawing series exhibited at GOMA

I first came across Gosia at a performance at Fehily Contemporary in Collingwood. Gosia's drawings are spontaneous and flow freely. The work tells a story, it is an observation of the immediate surroundings.

Unfortunately the window installation is not up anymore, but her exhibition is on at Sofi's Lounge until 8 October 2012.