The days are growing shorter, but that doesn’t mean we have to go home at sunset. This month, Melbourne’s leading galleries, museums and other cultural destinations will keep their doors open for some exciting late-night experiences. Inspired by Europe’s Night of Museums, this program will include both free and paid experiences, spanning across a wide range of cool things to see and do, such as mesmerising projects, live music, exhibitions and more. Art After Dark Melbourne will run from Friday May 13 to the early hours of Sunday May 15.
Art After Dark Melbourne
Stay out late in the city and wander around notable Melbourne galleries. Check out Arts Centre Melbourne, NGV International, Ian Potter Centre, Fed Square, ACMI, State Library of Victoria and Melbourne Museum. These destinations will stay open from 6pm until 1am on Friday May 13 and Saturday May 14.
“We’re throwing open the doors to our iconic cultural destinations and inviting Victorians to experience them in a new light, filled with the very best of local talent, food and art as part of this exciting new after dark concept,” said Minister for Creative Industries Danny Pearson.
Here’s what’s on the program.
The events will kick off on Friday night at Fed Square with a live performance by First Nations artists, including rapper and hip-hop artist Briggs, as well as Kee’ahn, Soju Gang and Izy.
After that, see the launch of Constellations by international artist Joanie Lemercier. Explore the cosmos in this mesmerising audio-visual installation, and follow it up with a complimentary tea, coffee or hot chocolate. There will also be glow in the dark fairy floss, and mini pies and pizzas.
NGV Australia and NGV International
After premiering at NGV Triennial in 2017, Ron Mueck’s Mass is coming back to NGV. Inspired by the complex structure of the human skull, you’ll celebrate our humanity and contemplate mortality. See 100 individual skull forms, then listen to some poetry readers, a choir, and DJs. See Mass at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia on the ground floor of Fed Square.
Meanwhile, at NGV International, you’ll enjoy free access to the whole gallery. Feel amazed by the exhibitions on display, listen to music, head to the bar and more.
See the iconic bluestone building transformed by a light projection as part of the free exhibition, QUEER: Stories from the NGV Collection. Then, step inside the Great Hall and see the immersive video installation EYE HEAR YOU MAGIK 2020 by Hannah Brontë. This video will explore the role and influence of Indigenous and Blak women in relation to activism, power and family.
State Library Victoria
Head to the State Library, and look up at the iconic dome. This will come to life with a 360-degree projection called Midnight at Pink Lake by artists The Electric Canvas, The Orbweavers and Gatherer Media. In this projection, you’ll journey from the city to tidal saltmarsh pools, and feel captivated by the colours and sounds of these unique ecosystems.
While you’re there, enjoy a drink, watch roving performers and listen to music. Then, try an interactive workshop, and engage with your creative side by checking out some live drawing, book therapy, writing activities and papercraft.
Arts Centre Melbourne
Start your night on the forecourt and listen to music sets from local DJs. Grab a drink from the bars, then pop into the Australian Music Vault exhibition, and learn more about the Australian contemporary music scene. Inside the exhibition, you’ll discover archival footage, costumes, instruments and more from beloved artists such as The Wiggles, Kylie Minogue and AC/DC.
After that, enjoy a night at the opera, see a performance of Hamlet, or enjoy a unique dance performance inside one of the Arts Centre’s iconic theatre spaces.
Enjoy a night at the museum and see the terrific, Triceratops: Fate of the Dinosaurs exhibition. Take a journey to ancient Greece with their Open Horizons exhibition, and enjoy IMAX screenings of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
There will also be cool galaxy-inspired performances, immersive digital experiences, celestial cocktails, food trucks, DJ sets and talks until 1am each night.
Head to ACMI for all things film, TV and videogames at Art After Dark. Check out their exhibition, The Story of the Moving Image, and learn about the history of film. Then, learn about British artist Gillian Wearing in an exhibition as part of PHOTO 2022: International Festival of Photography.
See Creature from the Black Lagoon in 3D, watch Terror Nullius, play videogames, grab a drink and more.
After visiting these cultural locations, stay out late and remember just how magical Melbourne is at night.
“Art After Dark offers even more reasons for Victorians to rekindle their love affair with Melbourne’s CBD, from late night gigs, fantastic bars and restaurants to the very best our nation’s culture capital has to offer,” said Danny Pearson.
For more details about Art After Dark, click here.