Whether it’s exploring a comprehensive survey of immersive White Rabbit gems at NGV, hunting for miniature art at an Art Series Hotel, or indulging in local honey while chilling in a rooftop igloo, there’s plenty to perk up the beginning of winter in Melbourne. Here are five things we think you should definitely be doing over the next few weeks in one of the world’s most endlessly exciting cities, whether you’re a local or a visitor.
Follow the White Rabbit at NGV
If there’s any must-see art exhibition in Melbourne over the next couple of months it’s A Fairy Tale in Red Times: Works from the White Rabbit Collection. The recently launched, free-entry collection will present works by 26 Chinese artists, including a number of key pieces never before seen in Australia, all from the collection of the famed White Rabbit Gallery.
This includes a large-scale immersive installation from Zhu Jinshi (“The Ship of Time 2018”) made from 14,000 sheets of Xuan paper, 1800 pieces of fine bamboo and 2000 cotton threads. Also on the eye-catching line up is a stainless-steel installation shot repeatedly with bullets (“Order 2015” by Mao Tongqiang), and an expansive 14 panelled ink on silk work (“Tale of the 11th Day 2012-14” byu Yang Jiechang).
A Fairy Tale in Red Times is on display from 3 May – 19 October 2019 at NGV. Entry is free.
Hunt for miniature art at Art Series Hotels
Art Series Hotel properties across the country are taking their love of immersive art experiences further, introducing a program (titled “Art in Micro”) that has various miniature art pieces scattered throughout each hotel.
The concept is simple. Guests are given a magnifying glass upon check-on and sent to discover the mini art pieces at their leisure. Whether it’s in your room on the end of a pencil, or under a glass case in the lobby, the selection of micro art is highly curated and exclusive to each of the Art Series properties across Australia, including newbie The Fantauzzo which just opened down at Howard Smith Wharves in Brisbane.
The brunt of Art Series Hotels are located in Melbourne, where the group was born. So book in a staycation at The Cullen, The Olsen, The Blackman, The Chen, or The Larwill Studio, and get to huntin’.
Igloos and Honey
Wild Turkey American Honey has curated several pop-up igloos at the Auburn Hotel in Hawthorn East, aimed at injected a little heat into those winter nights with American Honey cocktails and seasonal dishes made with Melbourne Rooftop Honey (chocolate honeycomb fondue, anyone?).
What’s more is that they’ve introduced a “Let’s Do Brunch Honey” program for each Saturday and Sunday from now right up until 31st August. That one will take place on the rooftop of The Provincial Hotel from 11-1pm with bottomless waffles and DIY toppings as well as a two-hour drink package that includes beer, wine, sparkling and American Honey cocktails.
Live music and dumplings at NGV
Kicking off at the end of this month, local favourite Hutong Dumpling Bar will make a move into the National Gallery of Victoria for the 2019 Melbourne Winter Masterpieces inspired NGV Friday Nights series. The weekly series, which will last all the way up until mid-October, will completely transform the NGV’s Gallery Kitchen into a Shanghai dumpling bar, with each Friday night accompanied by a headline act showcasing the country’s best musicians.
It’ll begin on Friday 31st May with Husky, opening up a floodgate of various live acts that includes NGAIIRE, Sloan Peterson, Rainbow Chan, Slum Sociable, The Audreys, Thandi Phoenix, Young Franco, Kira Puru, and more. That’s everything from electro-pop to blues to surf rock, all scoring a feast of art, pop-up bars and food.
Tickets start from $16 for children and $33 for adults, and include after-hours access to NGV exhibitions. Each Friday night starts at 6pm and wraps up around 10pm.
Young Henrys’ “Rock & Roll Circus”
Newtown champs Young Henrys are taking a break from Sydney and heading down to Melbourne this month for the city’s ninth annual (and currently running) Good Beer Week. And they’re bringing a whole heap of Australia’s best musicians along, curated into their returning “Rock & Roll Circus”.
On Wednesday 15th May, the craft beer crew will take over Northcote Social Club with a free-entry gig, rounding up a who’s who of Aussie rockers including members of The Delta Riggs, The Preatures, BAD//DREEMS, The Panics, BATZ, 131’s/ King Cannons, BOBBY, Sloan Peterson, The Pretty Littles and
Fandango. Given the loose, anything-goes and improvisational frame of past iterations, we’re expecting plenty of memorable moments from this.
Feature image: Winter Igloo Garden at The Auburn Hotel.