Michael Koro, West Space & 1st Site

There is a good circuit of galleries around Melbourne Central Station comprising Michael Koro Galleries on Franklin St, then across the road to West Space in Anthony St. and back to RMIT Gallery and 1st Site. It took me a bit over an hour to see it all, but RMIT Gallery was closed, and I spent some time photographing the stencil graffiti in the alley beside Michael Koro Galleries.

Michael Koro Galleries is a new commercial gallery on the ground floor of a two story old black building with Blender Studios out the back. There is a real estate agents sign on the building, a worrying indication that it may not last long. The gallery does nightly video projections on the galleries front window but I was visiting in daylight.

The current exhibition at Michael Koro Galleries is “Resist, Collaborate, Destroy” curated by Michael Meneghetti, an all-encompassing title for a contemporary art group show. In the unnamed side alley beside Bender Studio there is an unofficial part of the Melbourne Stencil Festival features some of the best stencil artists in the world.

I was hoping to see Regan Tamanui working in Blender studio but he was in NZ. I met and had a good talk with Doyle instead. Doyle runs Blender Studio and Michael Koro Galleries, is a Youth Arts Officer at the City of Yarra and had a sculpture in the current show at the gallery.

West Space, an artist-run gallery, has changed its configuration of gallery walls slightly but still have three gallery spaces. All three currently had exhibition from graduates of the Victorian College of the Arts. Kiron Robinson exhibit “The 17th of December 1987” consisted of two sets of fluorescent lights spelling out two phrases that might mean something to her or the viewer. Alasdair McLuckie installation ”Laelia and the seasons” had more content and some very detailed beading. McLuckie creates imaginary cultures and myths in his installations this time about the cycle of an imaginary calendar. Veronica Kent “Seymour” is an installation with sculpture of a little girl, a frog and lots of hair. Kent’s installation suggests a narrative, a myth or fable, but the viewer has to invent it.

1st Site, in the basement of RMIT also has three exhibition spaces. Matthew Harding was exhibiting panoramic photographs of Melbourne’s urban decay and ruin in Footscray, Nicholson St. and Kensington often prominently featuring graffiti. Harding documents these spaces of urban change and preserving the street art in the space. Ellara Woodlock was exhibiting quirky pencil drawings of an imaginary armless girl in a series titled “stories from a girlhood in an oil drum”. And Karri Cameron’s “Finding True North” is an installation searching in a darkened gallery for a direction with lights and shadows.


About Mark Holsworth

Writer and artist Mark Holsworth is the author of two books, The Picasso Ransom and Sculptures of Melbourne. View all posts by Mark Holsworth

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