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Five ways to experience art on campus


Monash Caulfield is full of opportunities to engage with the arts. From public art galleries to outdoor sculptures to works in the Caulfield Library, Monash staff and students wander past art every day.

Here are just a few highlights:

1. MUMA 

Monash University Museum of Art | MUMA is located on the ground floor of Building F and is a public art museum that is committed to innovative, experimental and research-based contemporary art and curatorial practice. MUMA exhibitions are always free, and the museum hosts a variety of public programs and events both on and off campus in response to the exhibitions.

MUMA’s current exhibition Robert Smithson: Time Crystals is the first exhibition in Australia dedicated to the work of American artist Robert Smithson (1938–1973). Best known for his radical land art of the 1960s and early 1970s, Smithson is now widely recognised as one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century.

Featuring new research on the artist’s practice, Time Crystals presents sculpture, photography, film, drawings and texts borrowed from major Australian and international collections. It also includes the most extensive display of Smithson’s manuscript and archival material to date drawn from the Robert Smithson and Nancy Holt Papers at the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Art.

Robert Smithson: Time Crystals is on until 22 September

Upcoming exhibitions: Lili Reynaud-Dewar: TEETH, GUMS, MACHINES, FUTURE, SOCIETY and Alicia Frankovich: Exoplanets will run 6 October - 15 December

Location: MUMA, Ground Floor, Building F, Caulfield Campus, Tues – Fri 10am – 5pm; Sat 12 – 5pm

2. Ian Potter Sculpture Court

Each year MUMA commissions a new temporary public sculpture for the Ian Potter Sculpture Court, situated just outside of MUMA. After a 3 year hiatus due to building works, MUMA is proud to present Water-Orb 2018 by Melbourne artist Natasha Johns-Messenger. Johns-Messenger’s work is based around site-specific interventions which explore the nature of visual perception and bodily experience. Using simple optical physics to activate a chasm between what we think we see and what we know, the sculpture employs an ocular-like form which beckons our observation of a dynamic body of water that appears to defy gravity as it simultaneously falls and flows.

Visit Natasha Johns-Messenger’s Water-Orb from now until July 2019

Location: Ian Potter Sculpture Court, between Building F and Building C, Caulfield Campus

3. MADA Gallery

MADA Gallery is the Faculty of Art Design & Architecture’s gallery space located in Building D, adjacent to the Fine Art teaching spaces and the student gallery. Along with exhibitions by MADA PhD candidates, MADA Gallery hosts exhibitions by external artists, curators, designers, architects and other creative practitioners.

In October MADA presents In Prato an exhibition of works by leading Australian artists Stuart Ringholt, Charlie Sofo, Laresa Kosloff, Pat Foster & Jen Berean and David Rosetzky who have all undertaken a three-month residency at Monash University’s Prato Centre in Italy.

In Prato: 6-27 October 2018

Location: MADA Gallery, Ground Floor, Building D, Caulfield Campus

4. Callum Morton's Silverscreen

Commissioned in 2010 to celebrate MUMA’s opening on Caulfield, Callum Morton’s Silverscreen recalls the nostalgic form of the drive-in cinema, yet paradoxically, is sandwiched between two buildings on campus. Silverscreen is prominently visible from Dandenong Road and seen by tens of thousands of commuters every day, and is lit spectacularly by changing LEDs at night.

Morton’s work explores the way in which we interact with architectural environments. He creates scale models that disrupt the relationship between the viewer and the built structures by incorporating an element of strangeness. The models he creates are too small, too big, or out of place. They are deceptive and disorientating.

Location: Between Building G and Building F

5. Library art walk

Much of the Monash University Collection is on display around Monash campuses. Monash Libraries feature large displays from the collection, giving students and the public direct access to contemporary art.

The newly refurbished Caulfield Library features the striking new commission GIVE OR TAKE 2017 by Australian artist Rose Nolan. Nolan works with text as a readymade – transforming words and casual sayings, often phrases that she overhears in public, into bold text works that can be read or experienced as abstract graphic designs. The phrase ‘give or take’, for instance, is rarely written down but is often used in conversation to mean ‘plus or minus’, ‘more or less’, or ‘approximately’. Enlarged and spelt out along a fifteen-metre wall in red and white ceramic ‘penny’ tiles, Nolan’s GIVE OR TAKE addresses students who access the Caulfield Library regularly, prompting them to consider the different registers of language they adopt and engage with each day, while reading, writing, listening and speaking.

Don’t miss:
Level 1: Teresa Baker and her daughter Clarise Tunkin, Minyma Malilunya 2016. Minyma Malilunya depicts the Country of Malilu, a female creation being from the Tjukurpa (Dreamtime) known for her strength, resilience and independence.
Level 3: Stephen Bush’s Verde Cromo 2001, a dramatic monochromatic painting which draws on the history of technology and the artists own stylistic vocabulary to depict lumpen sculptural forms.

Location: Monash Caulfield Library, Building A, Caulfield Campus

1. Robert Smithson: Time Crystals, installation view: Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne, 2018. Photo: Christian Capurro.
2. Natasha Johns-Messenger, Water-Orb 2018. Photo: Christian Capurro.
3. MADA Now Grad Show, 2017, Honours students installation view.
4. Callum Morton, Silverscreen 2010. Photo: John Brash.
5. Rose Nolan, GIVE OR TAKE 2017. Photo: Andrew Curtis.