Testing Grounds

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Testing Grounds

All you need to know about the mysterious Southbank site that's sprung up

What is Testing Grounds?
Testing Grounds, in Southbank, has been developed with the help of Arts Victoria to become Melbourne CBD’s greenest creative hub. Formerly home to the YMCA but a vacant lot since 1983, it was reborn on October 4, 2013 as a free open-air public art space. The 2000m² plot is now lush with grass, plants and fruit trees – not to mention arty rubble – and open seven days a week.

Who's behind it?
Joseph Norster, a rock'n'roll lighting designer, and Millie Cattlin, an architect. For 25 days straight, the pair worked long hours ripping up weeds, arranging wooden pallets (784 of them!) and building a studio – and it will always be a work in progress. They were originally approached by Arts Victoria who wanted a space in which the public would feel welcome and a sense of ownership.

What's on?
Catch a movie on-site or on the road with one of two hand-built Projector Bikes. Meander around and meet the resident rabbit and dog. There's a film projector, car stereos playing Classic FM and regular events, such as live music and art installations, which will be announced in their mailing list.

What does the future hold?
“We’re not pop-up kids," says Norster, indicating the laborious set-up. "We like that the thought and care of this place takes months.” The grounds are open until at least April 2014, so head down, pull up a pallet and get to know your neighbours.

By: Sarah Gooding

Posted:

Venue name: Testing Grounds
Contact:
Address: 1-23 City Rd
Southbank
3006
Opening hours: Sun-Thu 9am-9pm; Fri-Sat 9am-11pm
Transport: Nearby stations: Flinders Street
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