The Dirty Dozen: Campbell Arcade

Art, Galleries Melbourne
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An underground mini-gallery in the historic depths of Flinders Street Station

If you’re a city commuter, you may have unknowingly wandered into Flinders Street Station’s Campbell Arcade. With its salmon-pink tiled walls, black granite columns and Art Deco signage that has remained largely unchanged since the '50s, the underground thoroughfare offers historical insight into Melbourne’s oldest station.

One of Campbell Arcade’s defining features is the series of glass cabinets which have housed artworks by local talents since 1994. Previously run by not-for-profit organisation Platform Artists Group Inc., the mini gallery spaces have recently been renamed the Dirty Dozen and handed over to Creative Spaces, an initiative of the City of Melbourne. We spoke with Councillor Rohan Leppert, Chair of Melbourne’s Arts and Culture program.

“We’re hoping that the Dirty Dozen will encourage commuters to slow down and experience something new and wonderful in the city. Works such as this makes navigating and interpreting the city an evolving and ever-changing voyage,” Leppert says.

The name is a nod to the walkway’s less-than-sparkling state, and the number of platforms in the station. Whilst previously artists had to pay to display work in the cabinets, Leppert explains the Dirty Dozen will be “available free of charge to creative practitioners from all disciplines”.

A different sponsor will fund the space each year, and artists will be chosen through an application process, after which successful applicants will be offered an eight-week long exhibition.

The first artworks to christen the Dirty Dozen will be ‘Prevariated Frequencies’ by Skunk Control – a collective of thinkers, engineers and scientists that specialise in thought-provoking artworks through a combination of art and science. Look out for a Christmas display to rival Myer’s famous windows later this year as artists showcase their unique takes on the festive season.

By: Delima Shanti

Posted:

Venue name: The Dirty Dozen: Campbell Arcade
Contact:
Address: Campbell Arcade, Flinders Street
3000
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 10.30am-6.30pm; Sat 10.30am-5pm
Transport: Nearby stations: Flinders St station
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