Whether you like the crisp outdoors or prefer to be rugged up inside, the art doesn’t stop in Victoria during winter. Across the state, urban and regional galleries are alive with colourful, thought-provoking, and immersive exhibitions and experiences – from celebrating the King of Pop right down to riding a bike that draws. Below we’ve rounded up some of the best exhibitions to see in winter.
1. Elvis: Direct from Graceland – Bendigo Art Gallery, Bendigo
With a specially curated exhibition at the Bendigo Art Gallery, and Baz Luhrmann’s showstopping biopic due to hit cinemas in June, it’s fair to say Australia is in the grip of Elvis fever. Running until 17 July, the Bendigo Art Gallery has worked closely with the Graceland archives in Memphis to assemble a colourful spectacle of jumpsuits, instruments and props – even Elvis’ personal gold telephone – that explores the life of the King of Rock and Roll like never before.
Until 17 July 2022, $30 entry for adults.
2. Light: Works from Tate’s Collection – ACMI, Melbourne
The power of light to illuminate, obstruct, inspire, and provoke is at the heart of the ACMI’s latest exhibition, curated by Tate in the UK. The collection spans 200 years of traditional and contemporary works across painting, photography, sculpture, moving image and installations. Highlights include a room of illuminated discs in The Passing Winter, James Turrell’s immersive Raemar, Blue and Liliane Lijn's moving sculpture Liquid Reflections. Alongside the exhibition will be a series of workshops, performances and talks designed to help you see art in a new light.
From 16 June to 13 November 2022, $30 entry for adults.
3. Rising – Various Locations, Melbourne
After three years in development, and being repeatedly postponed due to COVID-19, the Rising Festival is finally ready to, well, rise. Over two weeks of winter, the city comes alive with an eclectic mix of dance, exhibition, music, and food, including a range of family friendly activities for the kids. Highlights include a laser shot across the misty Yarra River set to synchronised music, a larger-than-life kaleidoscope you can step into, and a former car park converted into three swirling levels of parades and performances, culminating in a rooftop bar to quench your thirst.
From 1 June to 12 June 2022.
4. Open Horizons: Ancient Greek Journeys and Connections – Melbourne Museum, Melbourne
Transport yourself to the cobbled streets of ancient Athens with this new exhibition featuring 44 dramatically lit and presented exhibits dating from the Early Bronze Age to the Roman era. Together, they tell the story of how ancient Greece continues to influence the modern world. Every item on display is on loan from the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, including a marble sphinx depicting a female head on a winged lion, which is making its debut outside Athens.
Until 14 August 2022, $15 entry for adults.
5. Lowell Hunter’s Pop-Up Art Exhibition – Warrnambool, Great Ocean Road
Growing up, Lowell Hunter has always had a close affinity to the sea. It’s a connection that continued to sustain him after moving from the Kimberley region of Western Australia as a child to growing up on Gunditjmara Country in Warrnambool. Today, Lowell – a proud Nyul Nyul Saltwater man – uses the power of dance to carve enormous art works into the coastline, which can only be fully observed from the sky. At this pop-up exhibition, presented at The Deep Blue Hotel and Hot Springs, visitors can appreciate a different perspective on Victoria’s beautiful landscape.
Until 31 July 2022, free entry.
6. Moama Lights – Moama, The Murray
Each winter, Moama’s Horseshoe Lagoon becomes a dazzling kaleidoscope of sound and light, and 2022 is set to be bigger and better than ever. Follow the new footbridges and discover immersive art installations and projections that bring the Murray to life and splatter the surrounding bush in vivid colour. The light show has been designed and produced by Mandylights, the same creatives responsible for Dubai’s stellar New Year’s Eve shows.
From 31 July to 21 August 2022, $20 entry for adults..
7. The Art Factory – Wodonga, High Country
The Art Factory is a new exhibition at Hyphen, inside Wodonga Library, that merges science with art to create a playful new experience. Design, build and draw your own creations using a collection of bespoke contraptions and machines, including a bike that can draw, a 3D printing machine, a swinging pendulum, and an electric circuit board.
Until 12 June 2022, free entry.
8. Climate Anxiety Ark – Eureka Centre, Ballarat
Paul E Mason’s thought-provoking new exhibition at Ballarat’s Art Centre explores the ongoing role of global colonialism and its connection to the environment and climate change. Across an eclectic variety of sculptures, which includes a taxidermy Tasmanian tiger, Mason questions the over reliance on Western knowledge and the role of museums in society.
From 7 May to 18 November 2022, $6 entry for adults.
9. Strictly Quilts – Wangaratta, High Country
Calling all textile enthusiasts! Now in its 15th year, Wangaratta’s annual quilting and patchwork exhibition returns to liven up the city with colourful patterns and designs. All quilts on display are proudly made by local quilters, and the 2022 exhibition will feature works from Shelley Kelly and Jan Manglesdorf of Barnawatha. At the end of the exhibit, a quilt will be given away as part of a raffle.
From 1-10 July 2022, $5 entry for adults.