Two Exhibitions of Interest @ Arts Centre Melbourne

Bell Shakespeare Archives Exhibition | Arts Centre Melbourne

Smorgon Family Plaza

From 18 April


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The Arts Centre Melbourne is commemorating Shakespeare’s 400 year anniversary with an engaging exhibition of costumes and photographs from Bell Shakespeare’s archives, including the coat worn by John Bell in the title role of Richard III (2002), along with images from Hamlet (1991), Macbeth (1994), King Lear (1998), Henry IV (1998), The Comedy of Errors (2002), Othello (2007) and Venus & Adonis (2008).

The exhibition will also include two swords used by 19th century Shakespearean actor, George Rignold in Australia 1886-1899, which were passed down to John Bell, as well as other historical artifacts. On display in the Smorgon Family Plaza, Arts Centre Melbourne, the exhibition will run from April 18, open 8am to late

Stage Presence: Design from the Australian Performing Arts Collection | Arts Centre Melbourne

Gallery 1

30 April – 4 September 2016


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Stage Presence is an exhibition presented as both an insight into the art of performance design and an opportunity to showcase highlights from the Australian Performing Arts Collection.

This collection is home to the nation’s largest and most comprehensive performance design corpus. The creative process behind some of Australia’s most innovative productions is brought to life through concept sketches, research files, set models, ‘finished’ designs and carefully annotated technical drawings, which illuminate the story of performance design in Australia.

The Australian Performing Arts Collection represents the work of over 150 Australian set and costume designers working across circus, dance, music, opera and theatre. Over the past decade, the collection has grown through the donation of several important design archives documenting the careers of Judith Cobb, Hugh Colman, Richard Jeziorny, Roger Kirk, Jennie Tate and Brian Thomson. These archives, and this exhibition, provide a glimpse into the working processes and careers of these highly-successful and prolific designers. Stage Presence also gives a unique insight into the development of varied productions, from ‘King Lear’ to ‘Priscilla, Queen of the Desert’.

While a designer’s journey of discovery and inspiration may be a constant, their means of researching and presenting their work continues to evolve rapidly. Digitally rendered drawings, 3D modelling and printing have had a discernible impact on the way the design process is undertaken. Over the past decade the diversity of performance designs entering the Australian Performing Arts Collection continues to challenge expectations of what may be considered a ‘museum object’. The importance of collecting and exhibiting documentary evidence for this already ephemeral art-form continues however, to be a driving passion for the organisation.