Skip to main content

Melbourne Art Festival: A Surprisingly Good Afternoon Out

Maybe it was the warm autumn weather.  Maybe it was the fun of peeking into other people's back gardens.  Maybe it was the novelty of standing with other people, listening to real live musicians.  Or maybe it was just the giant pink ice creams.


Whatever it was, Melbourne Festival had turned into a surprisingly satisfying afternoon.  I'd seen the posters for it and thought it might be a nice change from yet another walk on a Sunday afternoon, but that was about as high as my expectations had been.

When we arrived, the male three-quarters of the family were immediately pleased to see the signs for classic cars at Melbourne Hall.  Shortly afterwards, I was pleased to discover that there were only about half a dozen of them, so that we could rapidly move on to less mechanical works of art.


The festival was spread out around the village of Melbourne, in churches, halls, and private gardens.  Melbourne is one of those fascinating places anyway, with archways and alleyways and houses wedged in odd positions.  It's even better when you can duck through an archway and find a dinky garden with a bright display of fused glass, or follow a driveway to a sweeping expanse of lawn featuring metal flowers and birds.

Toby and Theo both had definite favourites amongst the art we saw.  Toby liked the pared-down style of Stuart Hill.  He bought a small print of foxes under an autumn tree.


Theo and I both liked the intricate colours of Maria Boyd's art.  He now has a couple of framed greetings cards on his window sill, and I was rather tempted to buy a full size print.  Theo also saw the bright clothes on Megan Crook's stand, and said, "I have to get some of those!"  Most of it was designed for women, but he found a yellow printed neck warmer which he was very happy with.



Even the ice creams were artistic - I bet you've never had hot pink ice cream in a black waffle cone before!  These giant rams were on display around Derby over the summer, all in different designs, and this one now belongs to Project D doughnuts, who also produced the ice cream.  We later saw the hot pink vintage van which the hot pink ram had travelled in.


By this point we'd seen everything from tiny ceramic poo emojis to giant metal snails.  Graham had reluctantly decided not to buy a floor lamp made from a giant chain, and we were almost back where we'd started.  The sound of a sax led us to the "Busk Stop" where Adam's Shed were finishing up a set.  We assumed that the eponymous shed was where they practised, and further assumed that the saxophonist in the oversized shiny silver jacket might be Adam, but we could have been wrong about both of those.  Either way, listening to a few songs by a real live band was a perfect way to finish the afternoon.



Maybe it couldn't help but be a good afternoon out when we were surrounded by so much colour and beauty.  Art, music, nature, and yes, even classic cars if you must - they all feed the soul.

Comments

Sharon Brown said…
Hi Martha,
Thank you for your great review of Melbourne Festival, our aim is always to be a friendly weekend / day out for Art Lovers and families with a relaxed atmosphere and something for everyone. The Art is all for sale and the artists love sharing the story behind each piece.
Food is really important and all our Foodies are local(ish) and passionate about what they do, if you are well fed you enjoy everything else - THE ART, THE MUSIC AND THE CARS - much more.
Hope you have next years dates in your diary - 17 / 18 September 2022 and will come back!
Best wishes
Sharon Brown
(for Arts Melbourne CIC)
PS Melbourne is great at other times too!
Unknown said…
I have attended the festival in previous years but I do wonder if it is sustainable as a yearly event. Co-vid lockdowns may have affected me in the last 18 months as this year I felt no attraction to attended the festival.

A biennial event could be the way to go from here.

Regards

Marshall Payne
Helen Hallows said…
It was an amazing weekend wasn't it!? The Arts Melbourne team made such an effort to ensure the festival was as Covid safe as possible with many artists exhibiting in gardens. It was the first time I had the time to wander as for the last 10 years I've exhibited. It's always such a vibrant festival. This year, after many lost their incomes during Covid lockdgoens, it was also a vital life line for many artists and makers. I hope the festival runs for many years to come.

Popular posts from this blog

The Twelve Steps of Humility and Pride: Spiritual Formation Book 13

"Love is a sweet and pleasurable food because it gives rest to the tired, strength to the weak, and joy to the sorrowful. Love makes the yoke of truth easy to bear and its burden light." Bernard of Clairvaux was born in 1090. At the age of 22 he became a Cistercian monk, and persuaded about thirty of his relatives and friends to join him on this path. He became the abbot of Clairvaux when he was 25 years old. During his lifetime he founded many other monastic communities. This edition includes two of St Bernard's books: The Twelve Steps of Humility and Pride and On Loving God . They are short books, with very short chapters, often only a page or so long. The first was written for his fellow monks; the second for "the illustrious Lord Aimeric, Cardinal-Deacon and Chancellor of the Roman Church", who had apparently been asking Bernard questions about the faith. What is the book about? Twelve Steps spends its first half describing what the goal of humility is, b

Making a mess

My friend Ellie writes a blog which I now shamelessly crib ideas from, when I am stuck for something new to do with Toby.  Some time ago she wrote about a substance with the poetic moniker of cloud dough .  It sounded simple to make and fun to play with, so I tucked it away in the back of my mind. The recipe is childishly simple: 8 cups of plain flour, 1 cup of vegetable oil, and mix.  It comes out kind of sandy, although softer and more powdery. Now, Ellie has two gorgeous girls.  Her blog entries were full of photos of them adding pretty objects and creating cute little landscapes.  I, on the other hand, have a full-on hands-on get-stuck-in-as-far-as-possible boy.  This is what happens when you let him loose on a scatterable substance. We make it and it all starts well.  Notice I have prepared for mess with a large tarpaulin and lack of shorts. A few minutes in, and the mess is spreading up the T-shirt.  It's still mostly in the tray though.  From that point o