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Monday 3 October 2016 – Tuesday 31 January 2017

With artists collectives Hotham Street Ladies, The GLAD Rappers and The Melbourne Tapestry Weavers Collective and individual artists Anne Bolitho, Lewis Brownlie, ChiliPhilly, Amanda Dziedzic, Sai-Wai Foo, Irianna Kanellopoulou, Abbey Rich, Robyn Rich, Sharron Okines, Louise Saxton and Ellen Sorensen.

New works commissioned from some of Melbourne’s best contemporary makers are presented in ‘RETURN TO THE CITY’ | Christmas at The Johnston Collection 2016 in Fairhall exhibition-house until 31 January 2017.

 an installation from artists collective Hotham Street Ladies renowned for their subversive baking and who famously turned the foyer of the NGV into an icing-coated share house for the Melbourne Now exhibition. For RETURN TO THE CITY, the Hotham Street Ladies have transformed the Green Room into ‘a night after’ scene from an imaginary party hosted by William Johnston on his return to Melbourne from Swinging London in the 1960s. This royal icing installation is based on the wreckage and debris left by the departing guests after a night of debauchery.

 textile artist ChiliPhilly who has been featured in the Huffington Post, the BBC and Buzzfeed, has created an installation featuring crochet hats and a crochet portrait of William Johnston and his friend Ahmed, in the Blue Room.

 in the Bedroom, artist Louise Saxton, who creates stunning pieces from reclaimed needlework, along with the whimsical sculptural paper works of artist Sai-Wai Foo, are featured in the Bedroom.

 architectural illustrator Lewis Brownlie, has made his mark in the Study with his distinctive intricate line-work, this time in wire.

 painter Robyn Rich, textile designer Abbey Rich, printmaker Sharon Okines, and ceramicist Irianna Kanellopoulou have installed their pieces inspired by objects in the Collection in the White Room.

 The GLAD Rappers have turned up and yarn bombed the Yellow Room.

 artist Amanda Dziedzic is showing her exquisite glass vegetables in the Kitchen.

RETURN TO THE CITY | Christmas at The Johnston Collection 2016 features the work of Melbourne-based makers for the first time in over a decade. This popular series which commenced in 2004, commissions makers from a different region in Victoria each year to create new works drawn from aspects of the Collection or relating to the life of William Robert Johnston (1911-1986).

The commissioned work is displayed against the back-drop of William Johnston’s extraordinary collection of Regency, Georgian and Louis XV furniture, paintings, ceramics and objet d’art arranged in a domestic setting. William Johnston (1911 – 1986) was a prominent 20th century antique dealer and collector who bequeathed his former residence, Fairhall, and collection to the people of Victoria.
Since it first opened to the public in 1990, The Johnston Collection has commissioned and exhibited contemporary art and design in dialogue with its historic collection.

RETURN TO THE CITY | Christmas at The Johnston Collection 2016 promotes contemporary responses to the Collection by encouraging makers to challenge traditional practice and to explore new contemporary practice and ideas. This exhibition offers an ‘inspired’ interpretation of the Collection.

RETURN TO THE CITY will bring together the work of Melbourne’s contemporary makers in one magnificent show.

For further information, images or interviews, please contact:
T: 03 9416 2515 E: W:

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