ART-traction: The Art of Guildford Lane

Guildford Lane is hot property (literally, dream house listing here).

It is also one of the premier contemporary art precincts in the city.

That's a pretty big title for the narrow lane way, hidden behind Elizabeth Street, between La Trobe and Little Lonsdale.

The great hype is lead by Utopian Slumps Gallery.

Started by Melissa Loughnan six years ago when she was just 24, the gallery moved to Guildford Lane in 2010.

The current exhibition entitled Like Mike curated by Geoff Newton features nine artists between the gallery's two spaces.

For a comprehensive look at Loughnan and her astonishing success, take a look at her profile on the Design Files here.

Utopian Slumps Gallery

Opposite Utopian Slumps at number 30 Guildford Lane, a further two galleries more than merit a look-in.

Beam Contemporary on level one has just last week opened their new exhibition of Leanne Hermosilla entitled Limited Visibility.

The Melbourne-based artist pokes at the intersection between science and mysticism, conveniently coinciding with Melbourne's Body, Mind and Spirit Festival.

On the ground floor of number 30, Screen Space offers a far more contemplative experience.

My penchant for projection works has hardly been kept a secret, and it will therefore come as no surprise how much I enjoy this space.

There is simply nothing more relaxing to do around the CBD than stepping away from the crowds and trams and having a moment to think in dark room with the rhythmic motion of projection art playing in front of your eyes.

The central room of Screen Space is currently occupied by a single piece by Mark Reid entitled, Lomond.

Depicting a cool-grey loch in Scotland, the work is reminiscent of classic landscape, postcard imagry.

The piece speaks of a journey, a lone boat makes its way across the eerie scene.

The work evokes a stillness and calm that is “quietly immersive,” in the words of Reid.

Lomond is on display until June 22 – it is highly recommended you take a look.

As the semester wraps up, this is sadly the last post of ART-traction. Cue weeping and doona sulking.

I hope this has proved interesting and, most importantly, has either sparked an interest in contemporary art or nursed an ongoing affection.

Keep an eye out for upcoming exhibitions, join gallery mailing lists, like Facebook pages and follow galleries on Twitter.

At the very least, art openings make fabulous parties and always present an opportunity to meet fun people.

Pop the upcoming Gertrude Projection Festival in your diary (July 19-28) and I'll see you there after the break!

Tea towel for sale at Third Draw Down, 93 George St Fitzroy

Laura Phillips



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