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National Gallery of Victoria reopens with Indigenous contemporary art, queer art, speculative design and more
UNRYUAN, KITAMURA Tatsuo, Kai-awase shells, 2015. Shell, gilt, lacquer, colour pigment, various, 6.5 x 8.0 to 8.0 x 9.5 cm (each). The Pauline Gandel Collection of Japanese Lacquer © Courtesy of Kitamura Studios.

MELBOURNE.- On 3 November 2021, the National Gallery of Victoria will re-open NGV International on St Kilda Road and The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia at Fed Square.

On display upon re-opening, there will be the extended seasons of the world-premiere exhibitions Maree Clarke: Ancestral Memories, Big Weather and Naomi Hobson's newly acquired painting and photographic series at NGV Australia and Camille Henrot: Is Today Tomorrow and Reko Rennie's newest work Initiation OA_RR at NGV International.

In November, visitors will soon be able to experience newly opened exhibitions, including:

• Sampling the Future opening on 5 November at NGV Australia

• Found and Gathered: Rosalie Gascoigne | Lorraine Connelly-Northey opening on 6 November at NGV Australia

• and Golden Shells and the Gentle Mastery of Japanese Lacquer opening on 25 November at NGV International

In December, visitors will be able to visit three new exhibitions opening on the ground floor at NGV International and the NGV Architecture Commission in the NGV Garden:

• Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto opening on 4 December at NGV International

• 2021 NGV Architecture Commission pond[er] opening on 6 December at NGV International

• Bark Ladies: Eleven Artists from Yirrkala opening on 17 December at NGV International

• The Gecko and the Mermaid opening on 17 December at NGV International

Tony Ellwood AM, Director, NGV, said: 'The NGV is pleased to welcome visitors back to our venues in line with the Victorian Government advice. We are grateful for the ongoing support we have received via our virtual programming throughout the recent closure and look forward reconnecting with our valued community on site.

'The wellbeing of our staff and visitors remains our top priority. In accordance with Victorian Government guidelines, the NGV will implement the appropriate public health and physical distancing measures to ensure the safety of both our staff and visitors,' he said.

At NGV Australia, Sampling the Future reveals some of the extraordinary ways that designers are imagining our near and distant futures – from 3D-printed coral to hand-knitted architecture, and ancient materials from a distant future. The exhibition showcases new work by leading experimental and speculative designers, including speculative architects Roland Snooks and Leanne Zilka, Alice Springs-based designer Elliat Rich, Sydney-based duo Kyoko Hashimoto and Guy Keulemans, and Melbourne duo Georgia Nowak and Eugene Perepletchikov, among others.

Found and Gathered: Rosalie Gascoigne | Lorraine Connelly-Northey brings attention to the shared materiality at the heart of the practices of Rosalie Gascoigne (1917–1999) and Lorraine Connelly-Northey (b. 1967). Both artists are known for their transformative use of found and discarded objects to create works of art that challenge our understanding of the landscape, and Country. Through a major display of more than 75 wall-based and freestanding sculptural works on the ground-floor of The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, the exhibition highlights each artist's unique and significant place within Australian art and the sympathetic relationships between their works.

Also on display at NGV Australia are new works by Southern Kaantju/Umpila artist Naomi Hobson, acquired as part of the annual NGV x MECCA partnership. Known for her gestural paintings and intimate photographic works, a major new painting Deeper 2020 and series of photographic works January First 2021 explore Hobson's cultural identity, connection to Country and love for her community.

At NGV International, Golden Shells and the Gentle Mastery of Japanese Lacquer will celebrate the Japanese historical 'shell matching' game, kai-awase, commissioned by Melbourne philanthropist and NGV donor, Pauline Gandel AC. Comprising two large lacquerware shell boxes and 360 matching pairs of gold-gilded and hand- painted shells featuring designs of flowers from Japan, the Asia Pacific region and Australia, this is the first kai- awase game to be produced in over 150 years and the first to be exhibited in Australia.

In an Australian-first survey of the French-born, Berlin-based contemporary artist, Camille Henrot: Is Today Tomorrow explores the artist's playful and inventive approach to addressing life's big questions. Working across diverse media including sculpture, drawing, video and installation, Henrot references self-help, online second-hand marketplaces, cultural anthropology, literature, psychoanalysis and social media to question what it means to be at once a private individual and a global subject.

Celebrated Melbourne artist Reko Rennie's newest work, Initiation OA_RR, is currently on display at NGV International. Initially commissioned for RISING Festival, this video work is a follow up to his 2016 work OA_RR and will be on display on Level 3 until 30 January 2022. In the video Rennie cruises through Melbourne's western suburbs in a hot pink 1973 Holden Monaro cope and performs a series of burnouts. Rennie uses a variety of visual cues to reference 'Westie' drag-racing culture, as well as First Peoples initiation practices in an urban context, and the traditional sand engraving motifs of the Kamilaroi/Gamilaroi people.

At NGV Australia Maree Clarke: Ancestral Memories, the first retrospective of Melbourne-based artist and designer, Maree Clarke, who is a Yorta Yorta/Wamba Wamba/Mutti Mutti/Boonwurrung woman. Covering more than three decades of artistic output, the exhibition traverses Clarke's multidisciplinary practice which often focusses on the reclamation of south-east Australian Aboriginal art and cultural practices, including elements of culture that were lost – or became dormant – as a consequence of colonisation.

Big Weather, also on display at NGV Australia, explores the sophisticated understanding of weather systems that exist within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural knowledge. The exhibition highlights the vital role Indigenous artists and designers play in sharing stories that ensure cultural knowledge is protected, celebrating an intimate understanding of the land, which has been handed down over generations and has been recorded through song, dance and art.

Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto is the first exhibition in Australia to exclusively focus on the significant contribution to twentieth-century fashion culture by the renowned French couturière Gabrielle Chanel (1883–1971). With more than 230 garments, accessories and jewellery pieces drawn from the rich holdings of the Palais Galliera and the Patrimoine de CHANEL in Paris, complemented by important loans from major public museums and private collections, Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto showcases the impressive breadth of Gabrielle Chanel's output and her design codes.

The 2021 NGV Architecture Commission pond[er] is designed by a Melbourne-based team comprising architecture firm Taylor Knights in collaboration with artist James Carey, offering a space for visitors to cool off during the summer months and reflect on their relationship with the environment. Envisioned as a space that becomes part the NGV garden rather than a separate architectural object, pond[er] invites audiences to move through a series of interconnected walkways and accessible platforms. Visitors can immerse themselves within and explore the spaces of flora and water and can even step down and wade through the pink pond.

Bark Ladies: Eleven Artists from Yirrkala is a major ground floor exhibition at NGV International that celebrates the NGV's extraordinary collection of bark paintings and larrakitj (painted hollow poles) by women artists working out of the Yolngu-run art centre, Buku Larrngay Mulka Centre (Buku), situated in Northeast Arnhem Land. Before 1970, no Yolngu women painted sacred themes on bark or larrakitj in their own right; however, in recent decades, a number of women artists have taken to these media, becoming renowned both nationally and internationally for daring and inventive works that challenge tradition. The NGV has been acquiring important works on bark by artists from Buku for more than two decades, establishing one of the most significant collections of work by Yolngu women artists.

Coinciding with Bark Ladies: Eleven Artists from Yirrkala, NGV Kids presents an all-ages exhibition, The Gecko and the Mermaid that celebrates the vibrant culture and community of the Yolngu people through the work of two artists and sisters, Ms N. Yunupiŋu and Eunice Djerrkngu Yunupiŋu. The interactive exhibition will introduce young visitors to the two sisters, their art works and Yolngu culture and community through a custom-designed space featuring hands-on and multimedia activities produced especially for this exhibition.

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November 3, 2021

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