The best things to do in June
There might never be another time in western history like the late 1960s. It was a time of the Beatles, the Who, the Rolling Stones, revolutions, civil rights, social justice and monumental change. This exhibition comes from London's Victoria and Albert Museum and includes more than 500 objects. Highlights include John Lennon's real-life glasses and the uniform he wore on the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, handwritten lyrics for "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds", Mick Jagger's stage costume and a guitar the Who's Pete Townshend once smashed on stage. The handwritten lyrics to 'Revolution' show an insight into Lennon's songwriting process, with words that rhyme with 'revolution' scribbled down the left side of the page ('constitution', 'institution', 'revelation', 'dissolution', confusion', 'intrusion'...).
Melbourne is one of Australia’s cooler cities (in more ways than one), but it’s still pretty rare to see snow within the city limits. That’s changing this winter, though, with Federation Square transforming into a frosty winter wonderland. The Skyline Terrace at Federation Square (the roof of the Fed Square car park) is home to the Winter Village: a (faux) snow-covered pop-up bar inspired by European winter markets. The pop-up is surrounded by snowy pine trees à la the Black Forest, while inside guests can enjoy an ice skating rink, 21 toasty warm private igloos and a mega igloo where it snows (inside!) every hour. You can stave off the winter chill at Feast Kitchen and Sip Bar. There are winter-themed treats to keep you warm or you can book a private igloo and get an inclusive food and beverage package. The Winter Village is also open until late on Fridays and Saturdays so you can really chill out with local DJs and after-dark events.
Rows and rows of street food stalls, festival bars, as well as more than 50 art, fashion, homewares and general knick-knack merchandise traders will feature alongside a rotating line-up of musicians and entertainment. This season you can get amongst market favourites Burn City Smokers who are serving some smoky American-style barbecue; Churro Kitchen with their sugar and cinnamon dusted churro bowls; and ReWine who have your weekly fix of hot, spiced mulled wine sorted. New traders for winter 2019 include Mörk Chocolate with its ethically sourced hot chocolate (FYI it's our favourite hot choc in the city); Melted Cheese Bar, which is serving melted cheese baguettes and toasties; Ciao Chips with its take on Belgian frites; Pierogi Pierogi with pierogi, naturally; Melbourne Cocoa with some artisan chocolate; plus Turkish at QVM, which is serving pideli kofte (a meatball-style kebab) with red sauce and yogurt. You're going to want to come hungry.
Sorry, tea – you’ve had plenty of time to be paired with finger sandwiches, scones and macarons. Now it’s time for High Coffee, Sheraton Hotel’s new twist on a classic high tea. High Coffee features coffee (duh) but also coffee-infused food and Espresso Martinis. Think cappuccino macarons, chocolate hazelnut tarts with Kahlua and espresso eclairs, plus all your favourite savoury snacks like croque monsieurs, almond scones, smoked salmon frittatas and pumpkin and leek muffins. High Coffee runs all throughout June and July at Little Collins Kitchen from 1 to 3pm. It’s $59 per person on Munday to Friday and $65 per person on weekends. This includes an Espresso Martini on arrival and unlimited coffee (plus tea, if you think all that coffee will give you the jitters).
For more than 2,000 years an army of 8,000 life-sized terracotta warriors have stood guard at the tomb of Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China, in the Shaanxi province. The army was entirely unknown until it was discovered by farmers digging a well in 1974. A delegation of eight warriors are visiting Melbourne as part of an exhibition at the NGV called Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality. True, eight warriors out of 8,000 feels a little bit measly, but they are presented alongside more than 150 treasures from ancient China.
Cai Guo-Qiang is best known for unique, large-scale artworks that draw on his cultural heritage. In this exhibition, part of the National Gallery of Victoria's prestigious Winter Masterpieces series, he's presenting all new works, ranging from a monumental installation that will see 10,000 porcelain birds suspended over visitors heads to a 31-metre artwork created using silk and gunpowder. This exhibition is being presented with Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality, which features eight of the world famous terracotta warriors and other archaeological and historical objects from China. A ticket grants entry to both exhibitions, which stand side by side. Cai Guo-Qiang: The Transient Landscape is one half of a two-part exhibition, alongside Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality.
The first rule of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, is that you don’t talk about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Safeguarding spoilers is an expected responsibility for anyone who attends the Potter-verse’s first on-stage outing. There’s even a hashtag: #KeepTheSecrets. But in truth (as far as theatre critique is concerned, at least), JK Rowling needn’t have worried. This marathon, five-hour spectacle has a plot so dense and sprawling, so wonderfully, unashamedly elaborate, it would take many thousands of words more than any theatre review to even scratch the surface.
There are two main photography exhibits that focus on the intersection between ancient and modern tattoo practices as well as a series of contemporary installations curated by tattoo artist Stanislava Pinchuk, also known as Miso. Perseverance: Japanese Tattoo Tradition in a Modern World will explore the artistry and extensive history of Japanese tattoos, which has persevered despite the criminal stigma thanks to its association with the yakuza, the country’s most notorious mafia syndicate. Held in tandem with this is an exhibition exploring a traditional Samoan art form called Tatau: Marks of Polynesia, showcasing the works of both traditional tatau masters and emerging artists that are still practising this 2,000-year-old art form.
After the success of their monthly yum cha night, Heroes karaoke bar in the CBD is introducing ‘Curry-oke’ Sundays. As the name suggests, guests can expect a hearty Malaysian curry followed by endless sing-a-longs, with drink and cocktail packages available. For $25 per person, diners will get a choice of meat or vegan curry, plus a soy- braised dish, sambal stir-fried veggies, a variety of pickles and complementary rice or deep-fried buns. For an additional $20, patrons can get a drink ticket that includes the signature ‘Curry on My Wayward Son’ cocktail on arrival. This punchy drink features lemongrass and chilli- infused vodka, coconut cream, jalapeno hot sauce and is garnished with dried curry leaf. Drink tickets also include two house drinks throughout the night.
If the daily grind is making you feel baaad, we've got the perfect event that will really perk ewe up. Breathe in and bleat out is a meditation session where you’re joined by a flock of baby goats and sheep. No, we’re not kidding. The session is hosted by yoga and meditation outfit Karmably, and instructors will walk visitors through some light stretching and sound meditation as the cutest cohort of kids and lambs frolic freely between people. If it sounds distracting, well, you’re right. But having the baby animals roaming about actually serves as a metaphor for newbie meditators and allows you to embrace the chaotic situation and let go of control.
These dinosaurs are large-scale models of these ancient beasts, but they are roaming around at Healesville, Werribee and Melbourne zoos for 100 days. If you're lucky, you might see a keeper waking a sleeping dinosaur, or come face to face with a moving prehistoric creature. At Melbourne Zoo you can experience Dino Park, where dinosaurs made by Erth Visual & Physical Inc come to life. At Werribee Open Range Zoo, you calk walk through the new Zoorassic river trail. There are nine life-sized dinosaurs to see. And Healesville Sanctuary has ten examples of megafauna.
If you've ever wanted to make your own cheese, this is the masterclass for you. Henry and the Fox is offering a series of masterclasses to teach you how to make all kinds of cheese from around the world – and yes, tasting is encouraged. Classes offered include everything from brie to tallegio to peccorino, halloumi and mozzarella, and each class is marked with a level of difficulty. Each class is $89 per person, and they run for three hours. The classes include a glass of chardonnay or pinot noir on arrival, plus a shared cheese board. You'll also get to take home your cheesy creations at the end.
There is something fascinating about seeing a world-famous skyline recreated in tiny Lego bricks. Ryan 'the Brickman' McNaught and his team have built some of the greatest cities in the world out of bespoke Lego for a new exhibition at Scienceworks. The cities are New York, Dubai, Tokyo, Sydney and London, and the exhibition showcases their histories for almost a thousand years, from castles and forts to skyscrapers and instantly recognisable landscapes. The centrepiece of the exhibition is a 3m by 4m to-scale model of lower Manhattan, built out of white Lego. Stories of New York are 3D projected onto the buildings for extra insight into the city's history.
This is not your ordinary tour bus. The Melbourne Music Bus Tour, a collaboration between Arts Centre Melbourne and the Australian Music Vault, takes 22 lucky people on an almost four-hour tour of Melbourne's famous music venues, laneways, recording studios, rehearsal spaces, artists' homes and important Indigenous music spots. The tour visits current live music hotspots like the Tote and the Palace, as well as famed venues of yesteryear like the Crystal Palace and the Espy (currently undergoing renovations but destined for live music greatness once again). It also visits recording studios including Mushroom Records, Bakehouse Studios and the Dogs in Space house, and even stops by Molly Meldrum's house. Musicologist Bruce Milne (of 3RRR, Au-go-go Records and now Greville Records fame) leads the tours. It's a must-do for any Melbourne music lover.
It’s not an exaggeration to say Alexander Calder changed the face of modern art. Known as “the man who made sculpture move”, his gravity-defying mobiles are instantly recognisable. Now, in conjunction with the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the National Gallery of Victoria presents the first retrospective of Calder’s work at an Australian public institution. Bringing together more than 100 of the artist’s works, from childhood pieces to three-dimensional wire portraits and the mobiles and “stabiles” (grounded sculptures) with which he made his name, at the heart of the exhibition will be an immersive canopy display of Calder’s hanging mobiles, including 'Jacaranda' (1949), and the landmark 'Black Mobile with Hole' (1954).
Stephen Sondheim is widely regarded as musical theatre's greatest composer, having written hundreds of unforgettable tunes for shows including Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods and Follies. But there's one song of his that will outlive all the rest: 'Send in the Clowns'. It's been covered by everybody from Kenny Rogers to Barbra Streisand, and remains Sondheim's most recognisable tune. But not everybody is familiar with the show it comes from, a bittersweet and frequently funny musical about missed opportunities and old flames. Sondheim based the musical on Ingmar Bergman's comedy Smiles of a Summer Night, which culminates in an ill-fated weekend in the country. Victorian Opera is reviving this lush production directed by Stuart Maunder, bringing to life Sweden in the early 20th century with plenty of glamour and sophistication.
Treat yourself to an Asian-inspired high tea in which guests are invited to paint chocolate Terracotta Warriors using Dulux’s signature chocolate paint. China’s terracotta sculptures date back to around the 3rd Century BCE, but the original colours have remained unknown for over 2,200 years. Think you know what they would have looked like? Have a go at painting (and then eating) your own chocolate warriors. This weekly high tea aims to unite traditional Chinese culture with the "artistic flair" of Sofitel's pastry chef David Hann. And yes, you'll finally be able to live out your childhood dream of playing with your food. The high tea will feature an assortment of Asian-fusion dishes including smoked salmon, sweet chilli cream cheese and teriyaki sandwiches; sticky lemon, chilli and ginger beer; prawn and chive wontons; and char sui pork buns. The sweeter section includes a red bean curd white chocolate bombe on coconut shortbread; salted coconut sago with palm sugar caramel; pandan crème brûlée; crispy wontons with chocolate, ginger and pineapple; and black sesame matcha macarons.
The NGV's Friday Nights series is back for another round, and this time they’re pairing a string of gigs alongside the new Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality exhibition. Few things go hand-in-hand like music and art, and NGV Friday Nights’ set-up is the best way to take in the latest NGV exhibition after dark while enjoying the best in local and international acts. Performing in the NGV's Great Hall every Friday night until mid-October, this season's line-up will feature the likes of Ngairre, Rainbow Chan, Husky, Slum Sociable, the Audreys, Young Franco, Sui Zhen and heaps more.
Venetian glass is known across the world for its vibrant colour, elaborate designs and exquisite craftsmanship, honed over centuries by traditional glassblowers on the Venetian island of Murano. In Liquid Light, the National Gallery of Victoria brings together their extensive collection of glass pieces to explore the development of the Venetian glass tradition, from the Golden Age of the 16th century to the postmodern creations of the Memphis Group. Highlights include a Games of Thrones-worthy 17th century goblet, complete with intertwining dragons coiling around the stem, and a contemporary patchwork vase by renowned Murano glass artist Fulvio Bianconi.
Malthouse's artistic director Matthew Lutton is working with award-winning Scottish playwright David Greig on this adaptation of Stanisław Lem’s seminal sci-fi novel. It’s been turned into two films in the past, but Greig is going back to the original source material to tell a story about a mysterious planet where visitors encounter the ghosts of long-lost loved ones. Eamon Farren will star with a company of local and international performers in this co-production with Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum Theatre. Expect something spooky and potentially even terrifying.
St Kilda Film Festival is now a winter event, launching on Friday June 21 with a gala event at the Palais Theatre. The festival features the top 100 films submitted by Australian filmmakers, plus music videos (SoundKILDA), international content and special events. The festival has partnered with Virtual Reality (VR) Cinema by offering a novel viewing experience for audience members. Patrons will be able to watch a selection of short films and music videos for free while wearing VR headsets. St Kilda Film Festival is now an Academy Awards qualifying event, meaning that prize winners are eligible for consideration for the Academy Awards for short films, animations and documentaries.
Zahra Newman stars in this one-woman adaptation of Kenneth Cook’s 1961 novel, Wake in Fright. The novel was famously turned into a seminal 1971 film and was adapted into a miniseries in 2017. But Malthouse’s version will be rather different to those previous iterations, driven by a provocative soundtrack composed by art electronica band, friendships. Declan Greene will direct his own adaptation, uncovering the terrifying and toxic masculinity at the core of this story about a man who finds himself stranded in the fictional all-Aussie town of Bundanyabba.
White Rabbit, a privately owned four-storey temple to 21st century Chinese art, is a big deal in Sydney. It shows Judith Neilson’s epic and eclectic collection to hordes of Sydneysiders every week, ranging from small-scale works to massive installations. This is the first time the collection is being shown at the NGV, with a selection of 26 artists, and several works never before seen in Australia, all of which paint a contemporary portrait of China. Highlights include Zhu Jinshi’s ‘The Ship of Time’ (2018), a massive cylinder made of 14,000 sheets of xuan paper, 1,800 pieces of fine bamboo and 2,000 cotton threads. And yes, you can walk straight through the middle of it. There’s also Mao Tongqiang’s ‘Order’ (2015), a 45 square metre piece of mirrored stainless steel embedded with 2,000 bullets fired from a gun. And Yang Jiechang’s ‘Tale of the 11th Day’ (2012–14), an epic, 20-metre silk work depicting an imagined paradise.
Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo was established in 1985 by Princess Caroline of Hanover (in accordance with her mother, Grace of Monaco’s wishes) and has since become one of the world’s most exciting ballet companies. “For a ballet company, they’re so different to what we do, but they’re really creating ballet of the 21st century,” the Australian Ballet's artistic director David McAllister says. The Australian Balet has invited the company to Melbourne with this new, critically acclaimed take on Swan Lake, choreographed by Jean-Christophe Maillot. His production is dark, sexy and features costumes by Winter Olympics designer Philippe Guillotel. “As Jean-Christophe always does, he approaches it from a very contemporary angle,” McAllister says. “It’s the same Swan Lake story – the white swan versus the black swan – but in this production they’re played by different people.”
Every circus is set up basically the same, right? You take one big top (preferably red and white striped), add a stage for the performers, some seats for the audience and maybe some barriers to separate the two. Circus Oz is shaking up the rules of circus with Wunderage: an immersive new show with no seats and no barriers between you and the performers. In Wunderage the audience isn’t just watching the show passively from the sidelines – instead they see it unfold all around them. Through mind-boggling physical feats, humour and an inspiring live score, Wunderage treads a tightrope (literally and figuratively) between who we are and who we might become. Step into the performance space and discover a room filled with giant blue boulders and tightropes up to four metres high. The performers move freely throughout the space – it’s hard to predict where they’ll appear next as they effortlessly ride bicycles on highwires, do handstands on teetering towers and flip, twist and somersault off precarious platforms.
On the first Sunday of the month Arts Centre Melbourne host High Tea Live, a traditional high tea with a different live act every month. Performances range from jazz to broadway and it's all paired with a traditional three-tier cake stand of sweet and savoury tea favourites. Make sure you leave room for the scones though – these fluffy, golden nuggets are served still warm from the oven. Held upstairs in the Arts Centre Melbourne's Pavilion function space, High Tea Live is just fancy enough to impress without feeling stuffy. The sparkling wine on arrival is a nice touch, as is the free-flowing tea and coffee that staff will happily top up for you throughout the musical performance.
After beloved Melbourne artist Mirka Mora passed away last year at the age of 90, many of her artworks and personal possessions were put up for public auction. Horrified at the thought of the artist’s legacy being split up, members of Melbourne’s art community set up a crowd funding campaign to allow Heide Museum of Modern Art, the museum co-founded by Mirka and her husband Georges, to purchase a selection of the auction’s contents. The campaign reached its target in just over 24 hours, and the resulting free exhibition, Mirka for Melbourne, is now at Heide.
Traditional scones and cream are swapped out for L'amuse Signature Gouda scones served with whipped spiced butter. There's also black truffle, porcini and walnut layered Brie Fermier la Tremblaye; Swiss Gruyere Vieux Gougères with burnt green leek; and Marcel Petite Comté Réservation custard tarts for the savoury section. For the sweeter side, there's poached French pear with stracciatella, fresh honeycomb and smoked roasted macadamia crumble; ruby chocolate parfait with Brillat Savarin Frais and raspberry jam; caramelised salted white chocolate tiramisu; plus ricotta cassata cannoli. The coup de gras (pun intended) is the whole baked Normandy camembert served with lavosh that you can dip right into the cheese, like your very own cheese fondue. Holy cheesus.
Simon Stephens’ characters are clearly defined, if a little off kilter. Single mum Georgie Burns (Kat Stewart) meets butcher Alex Priest (Peter Kowitz) – is there something slightly Dickensian in those surnames? – outside St Pancras train station in London, mistaking him for someone else as she kisses him on the neck. She’s like that, though; highly unpredictable and compulsive, she forces a conversation on the much older Alex and eventually gets him to take her out to dinner. He’s not so much a stickler as a man content to stay still. He’s never married, and lives a routine that is comfortable precisely because it remains unchallenged. But the “meet cute” and the attraction of opposites, a la The Rosie Project, isn’t only what Stephens has in mind. Enter The Theme. And in case we miss that, The Title.
Calling all the sushi lovers out there! South Wharf’s Akachochin has announced a sushi making masterclass which will be run by the restaurant’s head chef Seyong Park. The masterclass will give punters a hands-on experience of the entire process of making sushi – from choosing the perfect fish to the skilful slicing and preparing of high-quality pieces, right down to choosing the correct combination of sauces and condiments. Fresh ingredients will be made available throughout the class while the head chef teaches you how different types of sushi – the pressed ‘cake’ variety as well as sushi rolls – are put together. You won’t just be learning how to roll the seaweed, but also get to learn how your sushi can be taken to the next level. Akachochin’s head chef learnt the ways of sushi and sashimi over many years and you will have the opportunity to have all your questions answered during this workshop.
Japanese whisky is having quite the moment. So much of a moment that there is a worldwide shortage of Japanese whisky, and it's only going to get worse. But don't panic! Instead, enjoy five different whiskies from prestigious Japanese distillery Nikka with five matching courses at Supernormal. Nikka is providing the whisky, Supernormal is providing the food, including smoked beef with porcini cream; chicken liver yakitori; roasted bone marrow with tomato and fried bread; and toasted meringue with sheep's milk yoghurt. Sounds like the kind of menu winter dreams are made of. Each course will be matched with a Nikka whisky, of course, with Kevin Griffin from Nikka guiding people through each pairing. Tickets are $120, and yes, of course, that includes drinks.
Join British physicist Professor Brian Cox and his BBC Radio 4 co-host Robin Ince in a brand new live show hitting Melbourne. Cox is known for making science a truly captivating topic without dumbing it down. He'll be appearing alongside comedian, actor and writer Ince. The duo currently co-host The Infinite Monkey Cage on BBC Radio 4, a witty, irreverent program that looks at the world through the eyes of science. Cox will use state-of-the-art graphics and imagery from telescopes on Earth and space probes to present reports from the latest space missions, as well as discussing the Big Bang, black holes and the origin and fate of life in the universe. He’ll also address questions about the value of science, how we acquire scientific knowledge and why we should trust it.
It might not get cold enough in Melbourne to go ice skating on the river, but this winter you'll be able to try the next best thing. Skating At Festival is coming to Melbourne this June and July, opening a pop-up ice rink in the seaside suburb of St Kilda. Skating At is adding a slice of winter wonderland to St Kilda, installing an ice rink where you can skate gracefully (or not so gracefully) 'til your heart's content. The rinks are fine for skaters of all levels with skates included and 'kanga' skate aids available for littlies still finding their ice legs. You can find the St Kilda ice rink on the corner of Acland and Barkly streets, near Acland Court Shopping Centre.
ART+CLIMATE=CHANGE is a major festival all about the ways that artists are approaching climate change, with more than 30 exhibitions around Melbourne. But this exhibition of immersive projection works by Melbourne artist Yandell Walton is one of our highlights. Developed over a series of international residencies in 2017 and 2018, the exhibition explores the human relationship with our natural world and looks at how our environments are shifting. But this isn’t a dry scientific experiment; Walton’s installations are inspired by – and respond to – the architecture of the Substation, where the exhibition is being presented.
A Thursday night staple in Melbourne, comedy at the European Bier Cafe is still going strong. They’ve featured all the big names, including Sarah Silverman, Adam Hills, Jimeoin, Dave Hughes, Stephen K Amos, Wil Anderson and heaps more, plus all the best Melbourne and interstate comedians there are. It's a guaranteed high-quality night of laughs for just $12; what more could you want?
It’s easy to write off Darren Sylvester’s lucid, hyper-real photographs as simply commenting on consumerism. But Sylvester wants to be clear – the branded objects and banal scenes that regularly appear in his works aren’t intended to combat the commercialist agenda. “People sometimes don’t see any further than that – just think it’s about consumerism,” says Sylvester. “Well no, it’s not at all. I have no interest in any kind of consumerist topic or talk.” What Sylvester is interested in is far more relatable and can be seen in his new exhibition at the NGV's Federation Square gallery. Darren Sylvester: Carve a Future, Devour Everything, Become Something is a reflective showcase featuring 70 works, including 43 of the surreal, perfectly posed tableaus the artist is known for, as well as installations, sculptures and even an interactive dancefloor inspired by a Yves Saint Laurent makeup compact.
Why does the desire for a single and unambiguous national identity persist in Australia? Why, when our country is home to people from all variety of cultural backgrounds, of all sexualities, genders, abilities and ages, do we still seek to flatten out that richness and diversity? The 24 artists who are showing work in this exhibition curated by Kate Just all deal with critical questions of national identity, challenging racist, homophobic and misogynistic ideas about Australia's identity.
Paul Thiéblemont has created an English-style high tea menu for Conservatory, including a twist on a Yorkshire tart, Battenberg bake, Braeburn apple tart and plum Bakewell slice. The prettiest and most Instagrammable dessert on offer looks like a perfect peach, with an ombré red-gold exterior and a little leaf at the top. Slice it open and you'll discover the exterior is made of coloured white chocolate, and it's filled with a cream and jelly. For those who are less avant-garde in their dessert preferences, Conservatory also offers a lolly bar, sundae bar and white and milk chocolte fountains, with fruit, cake and other sweets available for dipping. There are plenty of savoury treats too, with sandwiches (crusts cut off, natch), mini pies and tiny pastries weighing down multi-tiered stands. And as it would not be high tea without scones, they are available too, in fruit and fruit-free varieties.
Father and daughter artists Hans and Nora Heysen helped shaped the course of 20th century Australian art. Both accomplished artists in their own right, Hans is recognised as one of the pioneers of Australian landscape painting, while Nora was an established portraitist and still life painter who became the first female winner of the Archibald Prize and Australia’s first female war artist. Yet, until now, there has not been a major exhibition incorporating both their works. The NGV is changing that, bringing together 270 works from the artists, including Hans’ famous landscape Driving into the light 1914-21, letters, sketches and preparatory studies, and furniture and homewares from the Heysen family home in South Australia.
Upcoming drag king and queens get the chance to practise their shows and refine their acts every Thursday night at Melbourne's favourite LGBTQIA+ venue (as voted by Time Out readers), Sircuit. Bio queens, drag queens, trash queens and drag kings all perform, and the event is hosted by famed drag queen Missy La ’Minx. It's a chance for up-and-coming performers to get experience, and for audiences of course it's a night of fantastic drag. The bar offers $5 pints from 7pm until 10pm, and entry is free.
Rosslynd Piggott is one of Australia's most diverse contemporary artists, working seamlessly across painting, drawing, photography, textiles and installation to create her unique multisensory works. Presented 21 years after her last survey exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria, I Sense You But I Cannot See You brings together more than 100 of Piggott’s works, many of which have not been seen in Australia before. Highlights include Collection of air 2.12.1992-28.2.1993, which saw Piggott travel Europe for three months capturing vials of air from 65 locations, and a group of engraved glass sculptures created in collaboration with artists on the Venetian island of Murano.
It's mostly rising stars who take the stage each Sunday night at Club Voltaire, but big names also check in from time to time, including Dave Thornton, Greg Larsen, Anne Edmonds and Damien Power.
Celebrating Christmas in the southern hemisphere is more about sunburns than snow. Yet antipodeans are still sold the story that Christmas is a time to enjoy hearty winter treats, frosty windows and garlands of twinkling fairy lights. If you’ve a hankering to experience a wintry Christmas for real then we suggest heading to Sovereign Hill. Throughout winter Sovereign Hill is hosting Winter Wonderlights – a Christmas-in-July festival where punters can taste limited edition treats, frolic in faux snow showers and gaze starry-eyed at the more than 15 kilometres of fairy light displays. The dark midwinter nights at Sovereign Hill will also be lit up by large-scale light projections that will be shown on 25 different buildings. There will even be a new “light tunnel” that will undoubtedly attract the Instagram crowd.
Even if you’re more pro-Republic than a Peter FitzSimons bandana, there’s no denying the impact and ongoing appeal of Britain’s royal families. Over the ages England’s kings, queen, princes and princesses have been responsible for everything from divorce (Henry VIII’s desire for a son is to blame) to white wedding dresses (before Victoria white wedding dresses were unusual), while their desire to stick union flags into far-flung corners of the world had permanent and frequently destructive political effects. Bendigo Art Gallery will be home to five British dynasties and more than 500 years worth of history when Tudors to Windsors: British Royal Portraits opens in March. The exhibition features more than 150 works from the National Portrait Gallery in London, many of which will grace Australian shores for the first time.
It's now been a year since Buxton Contemporary, collector Michael Buxton's impressively designed contemporary art gallery, opened in Southbank. It's celebrating that anniversary with dual exhibitions: National Anthem curated by Kate Just and A New Order curated by Linda Short. A New Order brings together painting, drawing, sculpture, video and installation from 12 artists whose work is included in the Buxton Collection. All of them have some relation to a pretty broad central theme: order and chance, and the push and pull between the two. There's Rosalie Gascoigne’s 'Conundrum', constructed from yellow reflective road signs; Daniel von Sturmer's 'The Truth Effect', which features small video projections design to test the mind and the eye; and Daniel Crook's video 'An Embroidery of Voids', inspired by Melbourne laneways. Other artists include: Stephen Bram, Tony Clark, Emily Floyd, Diena Georgetti, Marco Fusinato, John Nixon, Rose Nolan, Mike Parr and Constanze Zikos.
When it comes to comfort foods dumplings are pretty high on the list. The team at Horse Bazaar are taking dumplings to a whole new level of cosy by offering a dumpling and massage combo on Tuesday nights. Every Tuesday night at Horse Bazaar is Dumplings 'N' Massage night where you can get three dumplings and a ten-minute massage for $15 (plus online booking fee). There are six flavours to choose from ranging from Horse Bazaar's classic pork and vegan dumplings to stranger concoctions like fried cheese, Nutella and nuts and the very experimental 'Aussie breakfast' dumpling (that's egg, bacon and Vegemite). Your massage will be delivered by resident masseuses from Soul Aquarian Therapy who will work the knots from your back as you work the dumplings into your mouth.
Imagine chocolate desserts of all kinds and colours, from Granny Smith apple, white chocolate and frangipane layer cake to 55% bitter chocolate terrine with raspberry croquant. Picture Belgian milk chocolate and Vittoria coffee éclairs with caramel pearls, miniature dark chocolate and hazelnut tarts with gianduja mousse, white chocolate and passionfruit pops, chocolate cannoli filled with coconut, Malibu gel, white chocolate and berry cream, Bailey’s Irish cream pannacotta with coffee crumbs and chocolate spaghetti, and vanilla and white chocolate mousse. Throw in a chocolate fountain with fruit, marshmallows and cake. Now imagine you can eat as many of these treats as you want. You've just imagined the Langham's Chocolate Bar High Tea.
Imperial Comedy is named as such not because of a policy of expansion via colonisation, but after the hotel in which it is housed. The comedy is more the descriptive here as every Tuesday night a fleet of Melbourne's best comedy talent set foot on the stage and plant their flag of foolery. With previous guests including Celia Pacquola, Rove McManus, Adam Hills, Claire Hooper and Wil Anderson, this comedy night is one of the best in Melbourne. Tickets (online or at the door) are $10.
The Melbourne's longest running and most successful improv comedy night, the Big Hoo Haa, is improvised comedy at its rawest: minimal pretension, audience participation and maximum laughter. Anything could happen! Well, not anything. Scripted comedy, for example. That definitely won't happen.
Strap on your snow boots and slide into an alpine-themed takeover at Melbourne Public aptly named Mont Plonk. The venue is pairing up with Ugg Australia for the third year in a row to bring back the cosiest of winter wonderlands, right in the heart of the city. From June 14 to July 28 the terrace at Melbourne Public will be transformed into a European-style chalet, complete with sheepskin rugs and throws, roaring fire pits and the wonderful smell of pine trees. Walk in, grab a table and let one of the winter-themed cocktails from the bar warm you from the inside. You can also purchase a group ski pass for tables consisting of four, six, eight or ten people on the weekends during the takeover.
The famous weekly Fed Square book market shut up shop in 2017, much to the despair of Melbourne's bibliophile community. But the closure was only a temporary one, with the free market now open at Queen Victoria Market every Sunday till August 25. Whether you eat, sleep and breathe books or are just curious, the market has over 5,000 new and second-hand titles to browse from. From sci-fi to non-fiction, the Melbourne Book Market has every genre presented by a revolving cast of veteran Melbourne booksellers. Tweed jackets are encouraged, but not compulsory. There will be around 20 pop-up stalls giving bibliophiles plenty of options to spend all their life savings on, including stalls by the founding members of the book market. After deciding on your next bedtime read take some time to stroll around the market and check off your grocery list with the fresh produce or go into one of the cafés and satiate your hunger.
More things to do in Melbourne
Find all the best art exhibitions in Melbourne over the next few weeks.
If the chill isn't enough reason to take your culture indoors, then something below should take your fancy. There are a stack of musicals, plays and ballets opening in Melbourne this June. We're particularly looking forward to Malthouse's fresh, one-woman take on Wake in Fright and Melbourne Theatre Company's lavish staging of Storm Boy.
Guess what? Not everything in Melbourne costs a bunch of money. From art shows to coffee tastings, there are a bunch of things to do in this fine city that you can do for free – here are our favourites.
These are the best places to eat in this city right now: the freshest, most inventive and memorable venues, ranked by our expert local editors.
Here is Melbourne viewed through the bottom of a glass: from its world-beating cocktail lounges to its down-and-divey saloons. These bars represent the pinnacle of Melbourne drinking.
Borrow your nanna's tartan shopping trolley and venture out to one of Melbourne's best markets for farm-fresh produce, designer homewares, vintage fashions and tasty street food.
From food to laneways, drinking to ghosts, these tours are the best way to get to know a different side of Melbourne.
We've scoped out the best activities Melbourne has to offer kids of all ages, and even a few that will keep the whole family entertained.
If you're looking for a break from the inner-city grid, there's no better cure than a day trip from Melbourne. The state of Victoria is full of friendly neighbourhood towns, whether you're in the mood for a winery tour, a road trip or a national park to explore.
Looking for a movie to see this week in Melbourne? Check out the latest releases in Australian cinemas, all reviewed by Time Out critics.