Posted by: Debra Kolkka | January 18, 2017

An afternoon at the gallery

I am in Melbourne to visit my son and sister…and to escape a bit of Queensland heat. I also came to see 3 exhibitions at the National Gallery of Victoria.

I was dropped off at Flinders St Station, a wonderful Melbourne building.

Flinders St station

Flinders St station

I crossed the mighty Yarra river and made my way to the gallery. Some unkind people have remarked that the Yarra flows upside down, but on this sunny summer day it looked clean and sparkling.

The Melbourne skyline looks impressive from Southbank.

Melbourne skyline

Some seagulls were enjoying a bath outside the gallery.

The first exhibition I saw was David Hockney. 1200 works  of the 79 year old artist are on display from the last decade. There are paintings, digital drawings, photographs and videos.

David Hockney

David Hockney

On display are 600 sometimes animated IPad drawings of still life compositions and portraits. I love the flowers and faces.

David Hockney

David Hockney

David Hockney

One huge room is dedicated to “Bigger trees near water”, 50 oil on canvas paintings on one wall. The other 3 walls display 1:1 digital versions of the same work.


David Hockney

There is a 60 metre long gallery lined with 80 recently painted acrylic portraits of the artist’s family, friends and notable subjects. The artist tells that the portraits took him 2 years to complete and that he considers the collection one work.

David Hockney

David Hockney

David Hockney

The video of the artist talking to us was especially interesting. It seemed like a private conversation to explain his motivation.

From David Hockney I went to the Viktor and Rolf exhibition. Viktor and Rolf are 2 Amsterdam fashion designers. This exhibition features their landmark haute couture collections.

Viktor & Rolf

First is The Russian Doll collection, originally presented on a single model, dressed in layer after layer by the designers on stage.

The detail in the work is incredible.

Viktor &a Rolf

Are they artists working in fashion, or are they fashion designers? You decide.

Viktor & Rolf


Viktor & Rolf

Viktor & Rolf

The wallpaper is digitally composed from hundreds of Viktor and Rolf’s hand drawn sketches.

Viktor & Rolf

In 2008, on the occasion of their solo exhibition at the Barbican Art Gallery in London, Viktor and Rolf commissioned a Belgian doll maker to create a series of dolls dressed in intricately made miniature versions of their key works.

I could have sat for hours looking at the videos of the shows.

Beside the exhibition is an area where children can create there own designs. What a great idea! Perhaps some will be inspired to create works of art in the future.

Here are 2 happy kids trotting off in their paper creations.

I don’t mind the odd emerald, so it was upstairs to the Bulgari Collection. From a single jewellery shop, opened in Rome in 1884 by Greek silversmith Sotiro Bulgari, the firm has evolved into an emblem of Italian excellence as well as a global player in the luxury goods business….and they make gorgeous things!!!

The beautiful pieces were behind glass, making them easy to admire, but difficult to photograph. The necklace below is versatile, the large piece at the bottom comes off to create a separate jewel. Elizabeth Taylor wore it well.



The large photos of famous beauties wearing the jewels brought them to life.

Elizabeth Taylor liked to wear her jewels on the sets while she was making movies. She was quite an expert on wearing jewels.

Here are a couple of photos of my favourite pieces…taken from posters. I like snakes and emeralds.

If you can, find your way to Melbourne for these excellent exhibitions.


  1. Saw these exhibitions and favourite was Viktor and Rolf whose work I had never seen up close, what talents they are and every show is conceptual and always different from the last.

    • I have been aware of the work of Viktor and Rolf, but it was great to see it up close.

  2. Fabulous. Wish I could have joined you

    • All 3 were wonderful.

  3. Wonderful exhibitions .. thanks for sharing

    • I had a lovely afternoon at the gallery.

  4. Very nice – really like the room with the trees, and the dress with the circular holes in the skirt – artist working in fashion…

    • It is difficult to convey the size of that room. It was enormous and the painting was wonderful. I love the dress with the holes.

  5. Great time to visit Melbourne Debra. The galleries attract amazing exhibitions.

    • Yes, and the weather is perfect…lucky me,

  6. Thanks Deb. That’s was almost as good as being there. Would like to see the Bulgari Collection – crazy for those emeralds. Viktor & Rolf also appears great tho quite different to some of their couture collection pieces which I have loved over the years Keep on having fun and say hello to Brandon.

    • The exhibitions are fabulous…and I had lunch st Movida…really living

  7. What wonderful exhibitions. I found David Hockney’s iPad drawings intriguing – I particularly like his flowers and his beautiful winter landscape trees – I could easily live with one of those. The Flying Dutchmen are wonderful artists. The slightly spooky bride-like dress made me think of David Copperfield and Miss Haversham. Enjoy the respite from the heat – today is not so bad here – but “not so bad” is relative isn’t it. Where my brother is, south of New York in PA, they are having a record breaking warm January! I hope Chumps Climate Change-sceptic adviser on Global warming puts that in his pipe and smokes it’s!

    • The weather is perfect here right now. I hope Trump the chump spontaneously combusts.

      • Heehee:)

  8. A great day out in Melbourne. Must get to teh gallery.

    • You must! The exhibitions are fabulous.

  9. A great post in my home town. I didn’t know about the jewellery exhibition. I’ll have to go in for a look.

    • The Bulgari exhibition is free.

  10. FABULOUS! Wish I’d been there with you. I love David Hockney…and that NO dress is just too amazing. That dress needs to go march on Washington!

    • I love David Hockney too. What a great idea to send the No dress to Washington.

  11. Who said diamonds are a girl’s best friend? Emeralds are…
    Great photos, Debra!

    • I love emeralds. Green is my favourite colour.

  12. Debra I am a little green – especially the David Hockney exhibition-enjoy

    • You should come down to see it.

  13. There’s so much to love in this post Debra! I think I liked the jewellery and fashion best 😀

    • All three exhibitions are excellent.

  14. My fav’s the NGV. Was there yesterday to lap up the Auz I never see in Canada. Also here to visit my daughter and up to Brisbane later.

    • The exhibitions are wonderful. I had a great afternoon.

  15. I love Melbourne but have never visited the gallery so I must put it on the list for the next visit. I did do one of the guided walks of the street art and that was fantastic, plus there are lots of little coffee shops along the way 🙂 Hope you didn’t get caught up in the mayhem yesterday.

    • I was in that spot the day before and saw the aftermath today. It was a terrible thing.

  16. Saw some amazing art gallery for wall pictures arts thinking about how amazing art is. Me

  17. […] чрез Един следобед в галерията – Бани ди Лука и отвъд […]

  18. you were jere for some amazing exhibtions! I’ve been twice now!

Leave a Reply


%d bloggers like this: