Guest blogger and Kiwi expat in Melbourne Catherine Sietkiewicz, picks her top three galleries within a stone’s throw from the CBD
Melbourne’s CBD is home to renowned art galleries and museums such at the National Gallery of Victoria, Iain Potter Centre, and the Australian Centre of Moving Image; but if you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle and venture past the well trodden tram tracks of inner city tourism, check out these three:
25 Minutes drive from the CBD
Established by the infamous, bohemian collective of Australian modernist painters known as the Heide Circle, Heide MoMA is a veritable theme park for modern art lovers. Affectionately known by the locals as “Heide,” the sprawling grounds occupy some 15 acres of an old dairy farm, housing three separate galleries, an education centre, a delicious restaurant, and the sublimely serene Heide Sculpture Gardens which make the perfect spot for an afternoon picnic. Showcasing an exquisitely curated, and diverse collection of modern art, you can easily find yourself headed out to Heide in search of a body of work by an Australian artist such as Arthur Boyd, only to find yourself standing shellshocked, and mesmerised by a room of 1920’s Picassos.
Heide MoMA is open Tuesday – Sunday, and not to be missed.
40 Minutes drive from the CBD
A slice of provincial European paradise hidden in the hills of Melbourne’s north-east, walking through the old wooden gate to the grounds at Montsalvat feels like stepping through the back of the wardrobe, and straight into an artistic Narnia. Established in 1934 as the brainchild of Justus Jörgensen, Montsalvat is an artist’s vision to build a home for art, and it’s creators, realised. Light plays through the stained glass windows of the tiny chapel while gargoyles perch high above the arched doorways of the Great Hall and peacocks (yes, real ones!) patrol the grounds on behalf of the artists who, to this day, take residence in the one-of-a-kind creative sanctuary.
Montsalvat is open 7 days, and is the place to go to see art elevated to the highest, and most picturesque places.
1 Hour’s drive from the CBD
Nestled on the foothills of the Great Dividing Range, TarraWarra Museum of Art is a is a stunning scenic drive away from the city through country Victorian farmland. Opened in 2003 on the idyllic grounds of the greater TarraWarra Estate, the museum enjoys not only one of the most peaceful locations on my list but, situated next door to a vineyard, it just so happens to be in close proximity to locally made wines. The museum’s architecture itself serves as a monument to contemporary artistic inspiration; the sandstone exterior coupled with high ceilings, and industrial concrete floors make for a breathtaking backdrop to house meticulously curated collections in the main galleries, all the while echoing the starkness of the Australian landscape which lies just a little further across the Divide.
TarraWarra Museum of Art and TarraWarra Estate are open Tuesday to Sunday.