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Captivating artwork goes up on Arts Centre Melbourne hoarding for PHOTO 2024

Captivating artwork goes up on Arts Centre Melbourne hoarding for PHOTO 2024

A new artwork Chamber Dance by Melbourne-based artist Zoë Croggon is now on display on the hoarding at Arts Centre Melbourne along St Kilda Rd between Hamer Hall and the Theatres Building (under the Spire) as part of PHOTO 2024.

Zoë Croggon is one of 150 visionary photographers and artists who will feature in 100 free exhibitions held at galleries and unexpected outdoor locations across Melbourne and wider Victoria for the biennial photographic festival.

Influenced by her background in dance, Croggon’s work reflects on dance, the human body, architecture, and history.

As part of this year’s festival, Croggon was invited to comb through Arts Centre Melbourne’s Australian Performing Arts Collection to create a work that responds to the architectural and cultural changes taking place through the Melbourne Arts Precinct Transformation.

To create the new work, the artist spent several months raking the Arts Centre Melbourne and The Australian Ballet archives, working with dedicated archivists to go through the photographic collections.

“The area of archives I was working with were largely undigitised,” Croggon said. “It was like a pause in time – it was really exciting to access this kind of material.”

Posed with an ambitious creative concept, Croggon initially made a broad selection of images and then spent the next few months finding a way to compound the photographs into a dynamic and coherent flow.

The finished artwork Chamber Dance features 24 archive images from the Australian Performing Arts Collection, together with six of the artist’s own architectural photographs. The work is also Croggon’s largest artwork to date, spanning more than 20 metres.

“Most of these images are in their original form – I really enjoyed that kind of work – it feels like you’re breathing new life into something again,” Croggon said.

By reaching back to the history of the precinct, Croggon said the new work drew on the bodies and the buildings fusing together to create a language of their own.

“I like to think of it as a concentrated visual synthesis of the arts precinct … and all of the bodies that have gathered, moved, and danced in this space across the past 50 years,” Croggon said.

Chamber Dance is displayed on the hoarding outside Arts Centre Melbourne from March to December 2024. It is free to visit and is wheelchair-accessible.

The hoarding is part of the Melbourne Arts Precinct Transformation that includes significant upgrades now under way at Arts Centre Melbourne’s Theatres Building. Arts Centre Melbourne remains open throughout the upgrades and continues to welcome visitors. •

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