Different ways to enjoy art in Melbourne and Victoria

Two men looking at an artwork.

Blanche Clarke

Posted January 16, 2023

Art can not only look good, but it can also make you feel good, whether it’s in a gallery, public space, lifestyle club, office building or your own home.

Often when you walk into someone else’s home or an office building, the first thing you notice is an artwork. Art can transform a space, set the mood of the room, add colour and movement, and provide a talking point for visitors.

From creating your own gallery wall at home to driving along Peninsula Link and Eastlink to see some of the city’s most intriguing roadside artworks, there are many places and ways to enjoy art. As well as the National Art Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne also has some of the best contemporary art galleries in Australia.

The process behind creating a large-scale artwork is remarkable.

Mesmerising large-scale art

At RACV City Club in Melbourne, a 7-metre-high stainless-steel sculpture was recently installed in the foyer to welcome club members and guests.

The artwork was commissioned as the finishing touch to a series of upgrades that were completed last year to modernise and enhance the Club properties in the CBD and Healesville for the benefit of current and future members.

Entitled REMINISCENCE 2022, the artwork was created by conceptual artist Victoria Hempstead over many months in her studio and consists of eight large orbs symbolising waterscapes, journeys, and memories.

It’s also the newest artwork in the RACV Art Collection, which was established in 2003 and features more than 1000 contemporary Australian artworks.


Busy office foyer with new artwork

A new 7-metre-high stainless-steel artwork welcomes members and visitors to RACV City Club. Image: Matt Harvey

Supporting Australian artists

RACV City Club General Manager Rob Everett says Hempstead’s commission reinforces RACV’s commitment to supporting Australian artists.

“At RACV, we value the role art plays in connecting communities and encouraging creativity,” Rob says. “Victoria’s work is particularly important and a welcome addition to the foyer and main entry point of City Club.”

REMINISCENCE 2022 consists of eight orbs depicting water crafted from stainless steel. Each pool glistens with a polished and rippled mirror finish – a metaphor for the reflective nature of water. These are partially overlayed with a red and burnt-umber landscape, which has been printed onto the stainless steel from photographs of Victoria’s abstract landscape sculptures.

Hempstead says RACV’s history of motoring and travel inspired her work.

“In REMINISCENCE 2022 I wanted to highlight RACV’s history of touring and family leisure to explore how our journeys in motor vehicles tether us to waterscapes,” Victoria says. “The movement of the water cutting through the landscape felt similar to the journeys taken in vehicles along roads.”


Victoria Hempstead explains the process behind her remarkable artwork.

Meet the artist in person

The foyer artwork is complemented by an exhibition, Making REMINISCENCE: Victoria Hempstead at RACV City Club Gallery Lounge, which reveals the artistic process and the oxidised metal wall-sculptures that were integral to making the Club Foyer Commission.

Non-members are invited to attend an “In Conversation” event with Hempstead on Thursday, 2 February, 5.30pm-7.30pm. It’s a chance to learn more about the artist and see what’s behind the doors at RACV Club. Non-members can book for the event via this link.

Arthouse at Goldfields Resort

Arthouse at Goldfields Resort has exhibitions and art activities that are open to the public. Image: Matt Harvey

Why looking at art is good for you

As one of Melbourne’s smaller galleries, the Gallery Lounge at City Club offers a place to retreat, much like the adjacent library, and a chance to slow down and engage with art in a deeper way.

Numerous studies in the UK, US and Italy have found that visiting art galleries and seeing works of art helps spark creativity, generate a sense of community and belonging, and lessen stress.

Regional Victoria also has great places where you can appreciate art and relax in beautiful surroundings.

Arthouse in Creswick – a new creative space at RACV’s Goldfields Resort – has exhibitions, residencies, and workshops for guests and the general public throughout the year.

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