By: Michael Harvey , Category: At The Museum, Date: 08 Sep 2009
The exhibitions team is in the middle of an amazingly busy and exciting period - two new exhibitions opening inside a fortnight!
Last week saw the opening of Menagerie: Contemporary Indigenous Sculpture, at two venues - here at the Australian Museum and at Object Gallery in Surry Hills. The Menagerie collection, a diverse array of contemporary indigenous animal sculptures, is simply amazing – full or drama and character, and demonstrating the tremendous ingenuity and skill of the artists.
I’m a little biased but, for me, Menagerie looks stunning at both places, even though the exhibition spaces that house the show are as different as can be imagined. We have a rectangular, low-ceilinged and relatively dark space at College St, where spotlights create a theatrical presentation of the artworks, while over at Object, they have an airy high-ceilinged cylindrical space, flooded with light. The simplicity and elegance of both the design and the colour scheme really show the artworks off brilliantly in both spaces.
Meanwhile, downstairs in our large temporary exhibition gallery, the team are going flat-out to install Egyptian Treasures: Art of the Pharaohs ahead of its opening this weekend. The ‘set’ is built, and the objects have now arrived at the Museum. It’s a huge task, with over 200 objects to be put in place, some of them weighing up to 1.5 tonnes, and all of them unique, priceless and absolutely not droppable! Hopefully we'll be able to post up some 'behind-the-scenes' photos from the installation shortly...
The Egyptian Treasures collection has come to us from the Kunsthistorisches Museum ('Museum of Art History') in Vienna, as part of an Asian tour. We’re the only Australian venue for this show – it’s off to Singapore in December. We have reinterpreted the collection, and our team has designed and built a new set, unlike any Egyptian exhibition I’ve seen before. The team has set out to show off the artefects to best effect, while also telling the stories of those who made them and exploring the ways in which Egyptian designs are still relevant today.
Both of these projects are the result of a huge amount of work, going back well over a year. We hope you can come along and see these exhibitions - if you do, feedback is most welcome, so please feel free to leave your comments here!