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10 exhibitions to see in Melbourne this month

Explore various forms of culture and creativity in Melbourne this month with our list of must-see local and international exhibitions.

Kaws: Companionship in the Age of Loneliness

New York artist known as KAWS acknowledges modern life’s darkness and offers a hopeful response with his human-cartoon hybrid characters infused with pop culture. In an Australian first, Kaws: Companionship in the Age of Loneliness explores his 25-year (and counting) career with 100+ works at NGV International. It also includes Gone, a newly commissioned monumental bronze sculpture. Take the littler ones along to explore the Kaws: Playtime exhibition, just for kids. 20 September-13 April.

A large sculpture of a cartoon character holding another character in their arms.

‘Gone’ By KAWS. Pic thanks to the NGV.

teamLab at Tolarno

Fresh from their frenetic hive home base in Tokyo, the teamLab team are bringing some of their amazing immersive works to Melbourne. Featuring distinctive screen works with swirling digital imagery, Reversible Rotation is an artistic adventure no Melburnian will want to miss. On at Tolarno Galleries until 2 November.

Australian Music Vault

Melbourne is internationally recognised for its love of music and is also home to the Australian Music Vault. Created by Arts Centre Melbourne in collaboration with music industry professionals, this permanent and free exhibition is a celebration of Australian contemporary music. You’ll find iconic objects like Kylie Minogue’s stage outfits and lyric notebooks belonging to Nick Cave, as well as interactive and digital experiences.

Peter Wille: Out Driving

Step back in time and see Melbourne architecture from the 1950s and ’60s through the lens of amateur photographer Peter Wille. Over the years, he took thousands of photos on his journeys as an architectural draftsman, distilling the look of the city’s built environment in brilliant pastel colours. Peter Wille: Out Driving is on display at The State Library.

A photo of three shops on a city street with their shutters drawn

Shops on Collins Street circa 1955, one of Peter Wille’s many photographs. Pic thanks to the State Library Archives.

The Piano Transformation Challenge

In an eight-year period, the number of pianos dumped in Australia would fill the MCG. That’s a lot of wood! Finding a new use for unwanted pianos, The Piano Transformation Challenge takes rare wood and recyclable materials from a series of dumped instruments to create art. View these keyed up versions of Frankenstein’s monster at Meat Market until 2 November.

The Construction of an Act at ACCA

Ever wondered what ACCA would be like as an instrument? Wonder no more with Haroon Mirza’s first solo exhibition in Australia, created as though it is a musical score running across the gallery. Mirza’s experience as a DJ informs this chord striking series of works, with the artist likening their methodology to that of a composer – arranging both the aesthetic and acoustic properties of materials and space into new audible, visual and haptic forms.

A red iron building with the blue sky behind it

See The Construction of an Act at ACCA

Australian Design in the Home

What do award-winning knives,  Décor wine coolers and timer taps have in common? They’re all on display at this amazing exhibition of Australian home appliances from the 1930s to now. Travel back and forth through the ages of Australian domesticity, marvelling at exactly 100 historic pieces in Robin Boyd’a Walsh Street House.

Screen and sound at SIGNAL

Rest your eyes and take a stroll through the SIGNAL sound walk, where soundscapes by emerging artists play along Flinders Walk until the early evening. Then take your love of the big screen riverside and view the amazing new additions to SIGNAL’s digital facade. The latest screen commissions feature beautiful works by up and coming artists, best viewed once the sun has set.

A brick building lit up at night with blue toned projections


Velvet, Iron, Ashes exhibition at State Library of Victoria

From bushranger Ned Kelly to cricket’s celebrated Ashes Urn, Velvet, Iron and Ashes uncovers the surprising connections between extraordinary people, events and icons from Victoria’s history. Launching at State Library of Victoria on 24 October, the exhibition features over 200 intriguing items drawn from the Library’s vast archive, major institutions and private collections. Use their handy Map-o-matic device to create your own personal tour through the many secrets of Victoria’s history.

She Sings. She Breathes. She Sighs.

A roller coaster ride of interconnecting rooms, this photographic sculpture exhibition is like ‘floating on a block of ice through visual stimuli’. A year in the making, artist Martha Ackroyd Curtis’ second exhibition at Meat Market leads you on a walk-through of theatrical states. Fully immerse yourself in She Sings. She Breathes. She Sighs. on until 16 October.