Hair Pieces – Heidi May 2024

A visit to Heidi Museum of Modern Art

A visit to the galleries and gardens at the Heidi Museum of Modern Art remains a recommendation for anyone in Melbourne. The gallery is 30 minutes (more or less) from the CBD and is definitely worth the visit.

At the moment, there is an exhibition titled Hair Pieces, that runs from 4th May to 6th October 2024. This a curatorial exercise to bring together a range of works in various media under the banner of being about hair.

It sort of works. But that should not be  a problem for those who seek to enjoy the visual arts and understand that curated exhibitions such as this should test your expectations.

The online information has a little artspeak – meaning that when you have read the introduction you will still not be sure what you will see in the exhibition (except that it is about hair).

The next clue is the list of artists. This was the turning point for me – as there were artists listed whose works I enjoy.

The even better clue comes for the video further down the introduction page. It is also available  on Vimeo –  Linked here as well.

Have a look with or without sound – as you get a good walk around most of the works.

And having watched the video, do not stop! You need to see the artworks in real life.  If you can (you are in Melbourne), get yourself out to Heidi to see the exhibition before 6th October 2024.

The Christian Thompson work pictured at the top of this page is one to be enjoyed. I have seen this (or one like it) at the National Gallery in Canberra where it was interesting.

At Heidi the work is alone in a room and hung across a window. The garden view through the glass becomes part of the work. Extra layers to be enjoyed.

On my visit, one couple were talking way too much and too loudly – so I left and returned later to contemplate in silence (bliss!)

Another installation – in a special side-room with shelves of combs – has a lot of charm even though many artists have done things quite similar over the decades. It works. It is fun.

 

The set of photographs by J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere are beautiful. These are the works I could take home. There’s a good piece on this artist on the Queensland Art Gallery site – they own a few.

The March 2024 article by Nina Miall is called A vanishing art: J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere’s ‘Hairstyles’. 

Definitely worth the read to understand these beautiful photographs.

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I recommend this exhibition. I congratulate Heidi and the curators for the efforts to stage such a complex exhibition.

I imagine it took a lot of time and effort to bring it together. It is great that galleries still stage such exhibition – those that test our expectations and provide food for thought.

The entrance fee to the galleries – for most of us – it is $25 a head.

I would rate the exhibition as being about 3½ (out of 5 ).

 

and…

being Heidi, there’s also the attached artist’s homes, gardens and parks.

Entrance to the houses is part of the price you have already paid for the exhibition entrance.  And there are collection artworks hanging within to be enjoyed.

Here’s a link to a  10 minute TV garden program about the Heidi gardens.

Recommended!

Final note: the restaurant at Heidi is always busy – and the carpark is often full. There’s ‘overflow’  parking down the hill past the gallery. This requires a walk back through the parklands  – with little signage as to which way to go.

I suspect many go to Heidi for the restaurant/ cafe and meeting friends and socialising – rather than seeing the exhibitions. I cannot comment on the restaurant, having not eaten there.

The parklands and outside artworks are worth the time to wander about and to occasionally sit and take it in. Allow the time to do so.

again – recommended.

Here’s a  write up of the exhibition in The Guardian

Another in Australian Arts Review

 

 

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