Going Underground

There are many children’s stories of subterranean life with the Wombles, Fantastic Mr Fox or The Borrowers that have inspired the “Going Underground”. This is an exhibition at the Dirty Dozen, the display cabinets in the Degraves Street underpass.

Anna Walker, detail from “Marvelous things will happen”

“Going Underground” is the perfect location, underground in the underpass to Flinders Street Station. It is a perfect school-holiday time for a child-friendly exhibition, even though the height of the display cabinets may not be friendly to the shorter viewers.

It is worth looking at if you have ten or fifteen minutes before catching your train home. Many of the vitrines have been transformed into fantastic underground worlds of imagination with keyhole and cross-section views to magical worlds. These wainscot worlds occupy the unseen parts of our world, like the Borrowers living behind the wainscoting. They have a parallel existence to ours instead of being separate, alternate universes.

Anna Walker imagines charming and humous scenes beneath the garden. Tai Snaith creates a floating home for polar bears inside an iceberg. Twee scenes of a miniature world of Mole Creek created by Cat Rabbit. Other artists have ceramics or textiles with images and designs inspired by these underground dwellers.

Curator Meg Rennie has created something extraordinary, bringing together local artists: Evie Barrow, Pey Chi, Maddison Haywood, Tegan Iversen, Isobel Knowles, Yan Yan Candy Ng, Beci Orpin, Min Pin, Cat Rabbit, Meg Rennie, Tai Snaith and Anna Walker. These designers, ceramists, illustrators, and sculptors embraced the theme. And the quality of the work is outstanding, making good use of the depth of these display cases.

About Mark Holsworth

Writer, independent researcher and artist, Mark Holsworth is the author of the book Sculptures of Melbourne. View all posts by Mark Holsworth

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