Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Try to Keep Your Head; a Confronting Collection of Oversized Skulls Is Just One of the Stunning Exhibitions That Make Up Triennial at the nGV in Melbourne

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Try to Keep Your Head; a Confronting Collection of Oversized Skulls Is Just One of the Stunning Exhibitions That Make Up Triennial at the nGV in Melbourne

Article excerpt

Byline: WORDS: ANN RICKARD

It's rather daunting to be confronted with a cluster of enormous skulls.

Giant things, white as death, their gaping eye sockets as provoking as the gruesomely grinning bones of their teeth.

The 100 resin-cast skulls, each one 1.5m by 2m, combine to show a large-scale sculpture entitled Mass. It is just one astonishing exhibition on show at the Triennial at Melbourne's National Gallery of Victoria.

The skulls were created by London-based Australian sculptor Ron Mueck and commissioned by the NGV. It is his largest work to date over a career that has created figurative sculptures that have stunned audiences globally.

This statement from Ron Mueck's website certainly explains our feelings as we stood stock-still taking in the challenging vision of the enormous skulls:

"As viewers we experience a level of unease that is borne of a voyeuristic awkwardness, as though we have invaded some kind of personal space. However, we also identify with the human condition these poignant moments express."

Mueck's work is renowned and easily identifiable in the global contemporary art scene, but this exhibit is particularly arresting, a highlight among so many remarkable works on display over the four levels of the NGV.

The gallery, in St Kilda Rd, a pleasant five-minute walk over the bridge from Flinders St Station, is light-filled, spacious and super friendly. Even the outside of the building with its immense flat walls and water features shrieks contemporary intrigue as you approach. It is the most visited gallery in the country and hosts a thrilling range of local and international artists showcasing everything from modern art to historic exhibitions, from fashion to design.

Triennial, running until April 15, is a celebration of contemporary art and design showcasing exhibitions featuring technology, animation, architecture, film, painting and drawing. More than 100 artists and designers from 32 countries are displaying their works. …

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