WHILE Canberrans are gearing up for “Enlighten” the National Gallery of Australia is making a splash interstate as huge digital billboards featuring images of artworks begin to light up Melbourne’s busy CBD from today.
And it won’t stop there.
Billed as “nation’s largest art event”, held over six weeks beginning on Monday (February 24), blown-up images of 76 works of art from the NGA’s collection, by 45 women-identifying artists, will be exhibited on 1500 signs across a network of billboards and digital signs across metropolitan and regional Australia.
From today (February 21), central Melbourne will temporarily show large-scale images of art in celebration of the “Know My Name” initiative, which aims to champion some of Australia’s best female artists by bringing their works into the lives of everyday Australians.
First up this morning was a media event in Bourke Street Mall, where a large digital billboard, one of three in the CBD went live ahead of the national launch of “Know My Name” on Monday.
On hand was go-ahead NGA director Nick Mitzevich, joined by artist and NGA council member Sally Smart, program manager for “Know My Name” Jessi England, and chief content and creative officer for oOh! Media, Neil Ackland.
Mitzevich has made no secret of his intention to about boosting the National Gallery’s image right around the country and, considering that Melbourne also considers itself to have a “national” gallery, The National Gallery of Victoria (a name which the late Betty Churcher once described as “an oxymoron”), where better to start than Victoria’s bustling capital?
This billboard is part of a series of ongoing initiatives by the National Gallery to increase the representation of artists who identify as women in its artistic program.
It will culminate in a major exhibit in Canberra which will bring together more than 150 works, drawn from the gallery’s collection and other collections from across Australia featuring both lesser-known and famous artists, including Margaret Preston, Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Destiny Deacon and Julie Rrap, to tell a new story of Australian art.
“Know My Name: Australian Women Artists 1900 to Now”, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, May 30–September 13, free exhibition.