On the 30th of June, the art and photography students departed from Auckland to Melbourne, on a trip we had all been waiting excitedly for all year. After arriving at Melbourne airport, we then checked into our hotel, ‘Best Western’, before we went out for lunch. Our first gallery to visit was the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, a national museum of film, video-games, digital culture and art. Here we were allowed to explore and see the different processes involved in film, as well as admire the architecture of the building. Afterwards, we went down the streets of Melbourne, visiting a streetwear shop called ‘Culture King’ that led to a roadside filled with graffiti art, including spray paint designs. After appreciating the pieces painted over the walls, as well as taking our photos, we rode a tram to Docklands to see the Firelight festival. For many of us, this was our first time riding a tram, the adventure to come excited me, even when we almost missed the tram on the way back from the festival. The celebration included food trucks, numerous musicians performing through the night and was located at the harbour giving us an opportunity to take in the beauty of Melbourne.
The next day, we visited the grand Melbourne Museum. The entrance held water fountains and various other beautiful pieces of modern architecture, providing an ethereal view and already making the museum intriguing, yet our journey had just begun. The museum included exhibitions unlike anything we’d ever seen, such as ‘The Mind’, an exhibit which displayed how your mind and other factors in your body work. One exhibit that I found particularly interesting was the one which displayed creative content from young artists, such as films, app designs and labels for their companies. After that we went on a walk to the Centre for Contemporary Photography, lucky enough to have a guided tour. The photography shown was fascinating, especially as the photographs each held their own story which was displayed in the exhibition in their own unique ways. A long day of walking and visiting the galleries was now over and we decided to take a break in our hotel rooms before we set out once again, this time onto a Yarra River Dinner Cruise. The view on the boat was breathtaking and we enjoyed the company of each other over dinner.
We visited another gallery on the third day, this time the National Gallery of Victoria where we were lucky enough to see the ‘MoMA’ exhibition of modern and contemporary art, including artists such as Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol and Umberto Boccioni. After viewing the artwork in the exhibition, we were transported to the Docklands Shopping Mall where we split up and explored what seemed to be an endless mall. When we re-grouped, we went on the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel. I was anxious for this as I have a deadly fear of heights, but the view we saw above was so worth it. Dinner came and went and we were fortunate enough to visit CAVES, an artist-run gallery space afterwards. This was an interesting experience because previously we had seen large galleries which were state-owned however, this gallery was owned by two artists rather than provided for, making our visit here very inspiring and educational. We had hot chocolate and coffee afterwards while reflecting on the places we had been that day.
Then came our last day. We spent it walking around the city, before splitting off into smaller groups to explore the shops and what Melbourne had to offer. We re-grouped at 2pm, most of our arms holding shopping bags, to be taken back to the airport after checking out of the hotel. We were all so appreciative for the opportunity we had to visit Melbourne and are especially grateful to our teachers Mrs Palmer and Mrs Manuel who had taken time out of their holiday to give us this once in a lifetime opportunity. Until next time Melbourne!