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Let there be Enlightenment

August 2013

  • The Melbourne Review

Luminescence at the Hotel Windsor

As part of its ongoing 130th anniversary celebrations, the Hotel Windsor on Spring St has transformed itself into an art installation space. In collaboration with the Victorian College of the Arts, this new multi-faceted space is playing host to Luminescence – a selection of the finest emerging artists from the VCA’s School of Art.

The exhibition also includes The Windsor Art Award, a $10,000 scholarship that will be awarded by a panel of leading judges including photographer Bill Henson, Assistant Director of the National Gallery of Victoria (Curatorial and Collection Management), Dr Isobel Crombie, and Jan Murray, Head of School of Art (VCA).

Some 38 installations will be on show in the historic hotel’s multitude of spaces – large and small, nooks and crannies, ceilings, lift wells, fireplaces, guest corridors, lights, windows and historic staircases, famous and infamous – and are open for public viewing.

Featured works in the collaborative exhibition include:

Nude Descending a Staircase by Ross Coulter: This photographic project pays tribute to two dancers, Sir Rudolf Nureyev and Sir Robert Helpmann (Artistic Director of the Australian Ballet) both former regular guests of the Windsor Hotel. In the spirit of Nureyev, the artist leaps across the stage at the Arts Centre’s State Theatre, the site of many Australian Ballet performances. The self portrait also makes reference to the legendary story of Helpmann who was seen farewelling his guests naked from the hotel staircase.

Beauty Box by Kerry Leonard: a modern reference to traditional portraiture, Beauty Box is an immersive and interactive artwork inviting public participation that illuminates the concept of beauty within the context of one of the world’s most beautiful hotels of the Victorian era. The installation located in the exhibition’s pop-up bar at Wallis & Ed invites the viewer to consider their own perceptions of beauty amid those offered by others, the viewer becoming the subject of the installation and an integral part of the artist’s work.

Crystal City and Submerged City by Anna Ng: illuminated objets d’art featuring submerged cityscapes constructed through conflating and moulding packaging materials lit by artificial lights.

Building Fictions (1883) by Sophie Knezic: coloured and illuminated window installations in the hotel’s tearoom, linking works of literary fiction with architectural sites: the opening of The Windsor in 1883 and Rhoda Broughton’s novel “Belinda” published in the same year.

Other artists to be featured include Martina Copley, Martine Corompt, Simon Zoric, Tara Cook, Elisabeth Lacey, Viv Miller, Tracey Lamb and a host of others.

Luminescence may be experienced in various sites around the Hotel Windsor now until September 8.

1. Crystal City – Anna Ng
2. Beauty Box – Kerry Leonard
3. Nude Descening a Staircase – Ross Coulter





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