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Life is moving at a pace too fast. In this day and age where libraries of information are available at a flick of our fingers; it was a strange feeling to just slow down and take in the pieces of art at gallery exhibitions. In these spaces, it feels like time comes to a standstill, and the works: ethereal and alive.

This post is all about the experience of going to an exhibition amidst a busy schedule, and taking time out to appreciate beautiful things in a solemn space; and how that space affects both the viewer and the works within.

I recently attended two such exhibitions that left strong impressions on me.

The first was held in conjunction with the L’oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival, which spanned from the 14 – 20th of March. The exhibition, “Graphica”, was organised and curated by Jodie Lawson. It was a collection of works from RMIT students and recent graduates “as they explore geometric pattern and forms across a diverse range of mediums”.

When entering the basement exhibition space, one is greeted by a suspended golden baby before the white brick walls unfold into a space of three rooms; each with walls adorned with pieces both exploring and relating to the use of graphics in design. There were garments, accessories and installations.

The second was an exhibition at Craft Victoria, a place that regularly exhibits works from various artists. There were three exhibitions ongoing at the same time, however one was particularly outstanding: The Weeping Dress by Martha McDonald.

McDonald created “a mourning dress out of black crepe paper, which was activated in a live performance in the gallery to release its fugitive dye.” This was all documented in the installation and one could watch the performance on a screen, and then compare and contrast the dress before and after the “weeping” was done.  McDonald wanted to “suggest presence, absence and our own impermanence” through the garment and its transformation.

With the natural light streaming in through the windows at the top of the room in the space at Craft Victoria, one could almost see the lady weeping in the dress, standing on the platform and singing about the injustices of the world.

– Mavis Dai

Images credit: Christian Capurro

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