THOUGHTS, PICTURES AND EXPLORATIONS FROM THE FIRST PUBLIC ART MELBOURNE BIENNIAL LAB. BY WRITERS, ARTISTS, CURATORS AND THE LIKE. 

Welcome to the inaugural Public Art Melbourne Biennial Lab: What Happens Now? We'd like to respectfully acknowledge that the the land on which we host our Lab is the traditional land of the Kulin Nation, and pay our respects to elders past, present and continuing.

Over two weeks in June 2016, the Biennial Lab, located at Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Market, was a place for fourteen Lab Artists to work intensively in a laboratory environment that championed research, thinking through and experimenting. Each day, the artists found themselves in workshops, talks and discussions that led them to explore bold, creative ideas in an aesthetically and intellectually rigorous environment. Below, we documented the process.

The purpose of the Biennial Lab? To provide professional development for some of Australia’s best mid-career artists, to realise up to ten temporary public art commissions or interventions, which will be activated at QVM between October 17 and October 23, as part of the 2016 Melbourne Festival.

Some words from our Co-Convenors...

"It is rare when working towards a major multi-sited public project such as the Melbourne Biennial that artists have the opportunity to come together in the research process and to share, test out and explore ideas. That this has process been foregrounded as a fundamental part of the artistic process is testament to Natalie King and her team’s commitment to artists’ development and to the city itself - embedding this significant project in the fabric of the city from the beginning. It is a privilege to be a part of that process with my long-time collaborator David Cross and to see what wonders emerge." – Biennial Lab Co-convenor, Claire Doherty

"The Melbourne Biennial Lab is a rare and profound opportunity for Australian artists to build new knowledge in the development of temporary public art commissions. Such a supportive space that mixes the critical rigour of an ideas-based lab with the opportunity to apply this knowledge via the development of significant temporary commissions, is an extraordinary opportunity for the artists. The Queen Victoria Market site in Melbourne is a unique and treasured landmark that offers a stunning array of contexts, histories and personalities to engage with and respond to. I am delighted to be working with Claire Doherty on co-convening the Lab." – Biennial Lab Co-convenor, David Cross


Illustration by Kenny Pittock.

Illustration by Kenny Pittock.