Spring1883 Opens At The Hotel Windsor


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Some of the best contemporary art and site-responsive works from Australia and beyond have checked-in to The Hotel Windsor. Heralded as a departure from the traditional ‘white box’ art-fair format, Spring1883 invites the public to engage with art in an intimate way, as it is displayed throughout 24 of the hotel’s suites.

Coinciding with Melbourne Art Week, the four-day event taps into a growing trend, whereby galleries are seeking more immersive ways to exhibit art, in line with increasing audience demand for unique experiences.

‘The fifth edition is an intimate and unexpected encounter with contemporary art. It’s that frisson of the contemporary art rubbing up against the faded grandeur of this grand dame [of a hotel], which makes the fair extraordinarily unique,’ welcomes event co-founder Kate Barber, also co-director of exhibiting gallery Sarah Scout Presents (Room 307). ‘It’s kind of like a Wes Anderson-style fair, or The Shining!’

Spring1883 is a really amazing opportunity to see a whole bunch of work from the best galleries in Australia, all in one beautiful and historic location,’ adds Sebastian Goldspink of ALASKA Projects (exhibiting in Room 420). ‘People really get to delve into rooms… there’s always hidden works and stuff to explore.’

This year, Madé Spencer-Castle and Jeremy Eaton’s In Bloom is presented in The Project Room (Room 130). The Baroque-inspired installation invites visitors to consider the contemporary (in)carnations of the flower in art and design, through a series of floral-themed artworks and bespoke flower arrangements by Cecilia Fox. Billed as a modern take to the genre of still life, In Bloom plays on the metaphor of the ‘blossoming’ emerging artist – weaving early-career and established artists together within the same bouquets.

Meanwhile, Melbourne-based collaboration kings Third Drawer Down take over the Prince Albert Suite (Room 107), presenting a curated showcase of their gift and homeware collections. See goods created with local and international artists, including David Shrigley, Louise Bourgeois, Guerrilla Girls, Yayoi Kusama, Reg Mombassa, Margaret Preston … plus an inflatable collaboration with Cindy Sherman!

Stop by Spring1883 to experience Patricia Piccinini’s new work The Couple (2018), free-standing figures by David Noonan, anthropomorphic ceramics from Renee So, a transformative light sculpture by Bill Culbert (all represented by Roslyn Oxley), and Patrick Pound’s site-specific installation, 26 brown things, (STATION).

There’s also new art from Ben QuiltyGerwyn Davies, Juz Kitson, Claudia Greathead, Linde Ivimey, Honor Freeman, Leah Emery (all Jan Murphy Gallery), Juan Davila, Alison Burton, Adrienne Gaha, Christine Healy, Anne Wallace, Ben McKeon, Nikos Pantazopoulos, Warren Hair (all Kalli Rolfe Contemporary Art), Christian Thompson, Zilvester, Bryan Spier, Tony Garifalakis, Simone Slee and Lou Hubbard (all Sarah Scout Presents).

You’re probably wondering about the name, given it’s not 1883 nor spring. ‘1883 alludes to the year that The Windsor was founded, and The Hotel is on Spring Street. We also liked that juxtaposition between 1883, which conjures the heritage grandeur of the fair’s surrounds, with the fact that the work exhibition is incredibly contemporary,’ clarifies fair co-founder Geoff Newton, who is also the director of exhibiting gallery Neon Parc (Room 306). ‘Punters should come to Spring1883 because they’ll have a terrific time, they’ll get to meet people they’ve never met before, they won’t feel intimidated or disenfranchised – just the love of the contemporary art gallerist in his or her natural environment!’

For Geoff, it’s also important that the event, which he launched with Kate, Vikki McInnes (co-director of Sarah Scout Presents and University of Melbourne academic) and art advisor Vasili Kaliman, fosters friendship among the local art community. ‘This year’s iteration is much more concise and tight. I guess, the sense of collegiality and people taking it really seriously is a difference ­– there’s a lot more responsive work,’ adds Geoff. ‘It’s becoming more of an artist-led event as much as a gallerist’s one!’

The Hotel Windsor
111 Spring Street,
Melbourne, Victoria
Thursday, August 2nd, 12-7pm
Friday, August 3rd, 12-8pm
Saturday, August 4th, 12-7pm

Free entry

Spring1883 Artists Party
The Grand Ballroom
Friday, August 3rd, 8-11pm

Participating galleries include: ALASKA Projects (Sydney), Arts Project Australia (Melbourne), Blockprojects (Melbourne), Bowerbank Ninow (Auckland), CAVES (Melbourne), Daine Singer (Melbourne), Darren Knight Gallery (Sydney), Dutton (New York), Fort Delta (Melbourne), GAGPROJECTS (Adelaide), Galerie pompom (Sydney), Jan Murphy Gallery (Brisbane), Kalli Rolfe Contemporary Art (Melbourne), LON Gallery (Melbourne), MARS Gallery (Melbourne), Michael Bugelli Gallery (Hobart), Murray White Room (Melbourne), Negative Press (Melbourne), Neon Parc (Melbourne), Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery (Sydney), Sarah Scout Presents (Melbourne), STATION (Melbourne), {Suite} (Wellington), and Sutton Gallery (Melbourne).