A designer’s dream itinerary

7 December 2023
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The days are longer; the weather is warmer, and you’ve got some time to spare. Why not visit some upcoming and current exhibitions around the country to recharge and be inspired over the summer break? Here is our curated list of what to check out – truly a designer’s dream itinerary!

Museum of Old and New Art, Tasmania

For MONA, there are too many exhibitions to pick one, so how about three? First off, you can check out Heavenly Beings: Icons of the Christian Orthodox World, which is the first exhibition at MONA of exclusively old art, specifically, artworks made between 1350 and 1900. The same centuries where Western art history includes Leonardo da Vinci, Diego Velázquez and Claude Monet. Secondly, four new artworks by French artist Jean-Luc Moulène centred around rare materials are on show. To cap off the day, stimulate the senses with Jonsi’s exhibition Hrafntinna (Obsidian), which is a simulation of the cavernous depths of a volcano. The artist and musician was inspired by his time stranded in America during the pandemic, disconnected from his native Iceland. Lots of choices on offer!


The Art Gallery of South Australia

If you are heading south for the break, take the opportunity to enjoy the statewide Tarnanthi Festival with exhibitions at AGSA and across the state. The Tarnanthi Festival exhibits the latest contemporary works by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists across the country and presents a deep reflection on unwavering cultural connections. The festival runs until the end of January.


2023 NGV Architecture Commission, Victoria

The NGV 2023 Architecture Commission is a large-scale outdoor installation developed by Perth-based Architect Nic Brunsdon in collaboration with ENESS. Titled (This is) Air, the large sphere structure uses air as a building material and will morph throughout the day as it expands and releases air. The work aims to make air be seen, heard and felt to illustrate our connection to and reliance on it. The work is on display until June 2024 and is located at the NGV Garden.

Installation view of the 2023 NGV Architecture Commission. Photography by Ben Hosking.

MPavilion 10, Victoria

Japanese Architect Tadao Ando is the seventh designer to have his work in Australia commissioned by MPavilion, one of the country’s leading annual architecture commission and design festivals. The construction reflects Tadao’s signature use of geometric intervention in nature and was designed with the “desire to find a scene of eternity within the oasis of Melbourne, the Queen Victoria Gardens,” says Tadao. You can catch Tadao’s MPavilion structure until late March next year.


The Art Gallery of Western Australia

Drawn from the State Art Collection, the Art Gallery of Western Australia brings together abstract works by some of the state’s most historically significant artists, alongside newcomers and lesser-known makers. Covering the second half of the twentieth century to the present day, the exhibition titled State of Abstraction investigates why and how these artists stage encounters with the complex intersections between materiality, meaning, perception, place, time, history and identity. An ideal choice if you need to escape the heat.

The Art Gallery of Western Australia. Photography by Rebecca Mansell.

The Gallery of Modern Art, Queensland

Exclusive to Brisbane, the exhibition Fairy Tales at GOMA brings together contemporary art, spectacular costumes, interactive installations and cinema to explore themes commonly found in beloved folk stories. An ideal activity for all ages, Fairy Tales is a great opportunity to indulge in all the opulence of an enchanting world once upon a time.


The Sydney Modern Project, New South Wales

Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect SANAA, The Sydney Modern Project is Australia’s first art museum to be awarded the highest rating for sustainable design. Touted as the most significant cultural development in the city since the opening of the Sydney Opera House, The Sydney Modern Project brings together art, architecture and landscape in spectacular new ways, with dynamic galleries, site-specific works by leading Australian and international artists, and extensive outdoor spaces for everyone to enjoy. You can also check out the largest exhibition of Louise Bourgeois’s art called Has the Day Invaded the Night or Has the Night Invaded the Day?, which explores the psychological tensions that powered her work.



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Aerial view of the Art Gallery of New South Wales new SANAA-designed building, 2022. Photography by Iwan Baan.