Contemporary Art Exhibitions

The Living Museum hosts contemporary art exhibitions and projects which have relevance to the archive and organisations’ aims and objectives.

Contemporary art exhibitions have been staged in three venues, the historic Bluestone building, the Museum Visitor Centre and in Pipmakers Park.

For more information email

Below is a list of exhibition projects and links to further information about current and past exhibitions.

December 2018

Great Western – is a collaboration between the museum and recent graduates from the Drawing and Printmaking Department at the Victorian College of the Arts.

Featuring artists Daniel Kotsimbos, Kathleen Hicks, Chas Manning, Tamara Marrington, Brahmony Mccrossin and Lucy Wilson, each of whom have explored the rich collection of the Living Museum of the West to draw forth relationships between peripheral archival material and contemporary art practice. The artists utilise the context of site, specifically the museum’s Visitor Centre as the axis for investigation and exchange thereby bypassing the formalities of exhibition conventions to convey a social engagement with a disparate range of histories and narratives. Each work is located within and amongst the permanent displays of the museum to create conversational platforms that highlight and potentially illuminate the core objectives of the museum’s interest in the region, its people and its immediate environment.

Exhibition dates
1 December to 16 December 12 – 5 (Saturdays and Sundays only)

Opening celebration: Saturday 1 December 3 – 5

September 2018

January – February 2018

Bollard City, by Nina Sanadze
Bluestone Building, March 17 – 25 March 2017

Saturday- Sunday, 12- 5 pm, Tuesday 11 am – 3 pm.

Bollard City examines the visual language of bollards and barriers, inviting viewers to reflect upon concepts of public safety and personal freedom.

Opening Saturday, March 17, 3 – 5 pm.
Writer and researcher, Peter Mares, will launch the exhibition.

A red wine cheers to the Intimacies of Industry – Alisha Abate
Bluestone building exhibition, January 27 – February 11, 2018
Saturday- Sunday, 12- 5 pm

Alisha Abate is a Midsumma Futures program participant.

November – December 2017

The Archival Reflex – Living Museum Visitor Centre, November 25 – December 9, 2017
Tuesday, Saturday- Sunday, 12- 5 pm

Zoe Ali & Chris Tsiolkas; Sam George, Kim Munroe and Lisa Radford;
Andrew Hazewinkel; Raafat Ishak
Curated by Matthew Davis and Susan Long

What are chives for?

Saturday 25 November 12pm-5pm
Sunday 26 November 12pm-5pm

Victorian College of the Arts Student Exhibition
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West

Taking into consideration the political and social implications of the Museum archive, Second Year Victorian College of the Arts Painting students will present new works that respond to the specificity of the site and the collection managed by the Living Museum of the West.
Billy Coulthurst, Jack Coventry, John Elcatscha, Jemima Gale, Jimi Gregg, Naoise Halloran-Mackay, Jordan Halsall, Sam Harrison, Letisha Hirniak, Tristan Ingleton, Michael Kennedy, Yesol Ma, Aurora Materia, Hannah Nilsson, Elsie Preston, Monique Revelle, Anabel Robinson, Madeline Simm, Elynor Smithwick, Victoria Stolz, Tim Van Cuylenburg, Penelope Walker-Keefe and Ariane Jaccarini.

June 2017

The Year of the Floods

Georgina Criddle and Melissa Deerson.
In ‘The Year of the Floods’ Georgina Criddle and Melissa Deerson present an exhibition based on their residency at the Living Museum of the West.

Listen carefully
Do not interrupt
Follow the flow
Ask one question
at a time

There are various categories of information about some women
And the museum is all around you.

So there’s this artist she’s sitting at her desk at the Living Museum of the West and she ends up finding a publication called ‘Go West Young Woman!’ well a diary actually from 1985, and it’s got interviews and photos of these women working in the munitions factories..

Like guns?

Yeah guns. Like ammunition.

When: June 11, 14, 15, 16, 17 (12-5pm). Opening June 10 3-5pm

Where: Visitor Centre/Bluestone building, Pipemakers Park, Van Ness Avenue, Maribyrnong.

‘Year of the floods’ is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria.

Image: Melissa Deerson/Georgina Criddle, 2017

18 May 2017

International Museum’s Day Event

Launch of web project: Footscray Wharves and environs
18 May, 1 pm Plough Hotel, Footscray.

August 2016

December 2015

Vessel for mixing metaphors

Susan Jacobs

This installation is the result of a body of sculptural work which began in 2013. Components of the work were first exhibited at the NGV in the exhibition ‘Melbourne Now’.
The work has evolved through material experimentation, beginning with an attempt to make a rudimentary version of a late C19th plastic called Hemacite, which used animal blood as a binder with wood flour that was formed using hydraulic pressure moulding. The work crosses this reference with the production of Pig Iron, drawing out symbolic associations and familial relationships between elemental materials. In it’s current iteration, it responds to the industrial history of the Bluestone building.

Exhibition dates: December 12 -13.
hours 11- 6 pm

Image courtesy Susan Jacobs, photograph by Andrew Curtis

October / November 2015


A new exhibition, “Bluestone”, opens next Tuesday 20th October at the Living Museum…showcasing five of Melbourne’s upcoming and emerging maker artists: Kate Sylvester, Aniquah Stevenson, Louise Meuwissen, Mel Jane Wilson and Hernàn Lopera.

“Bluestone”…Opening hours will be 10-4 Fri Sat Sun until the 20th November. Official opening, Saturday 24 th October, 4 – 6 pm.

Each artist has developed a unique style and approach to their contemporary art practise using craft based materials. The Bluestone Building will be transformed into a visceral infusion of fabric installation, sound and performance. An exhibition of contemporary art, held within a place so full of history, with exposed remnants of its past, has inspired ideas of experimentation. The exhibition will include music composed by Neil McDonald in collaboration with Aniquah Stevenson, while Kate Sylvester will incorporate dance into her work to utilise the mezzanine of the upper level. These inclusions are aimed to celebrate the magnitude of the aesthetics available within the warehouse space. The show overall, is a celebration of our collaborative creativity within an environment outside the studio and away from the known gallery space.

July 2015

ECHO – Sunday July 5 at 3 pm

Echo is the culmination of a brief research project by Eliza Dyball and Ash Kilmartin at Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West.

Echo is the culmination of a brief research project by Eliza Dyball and Ash Kilmartin at Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West. (more information below)

Using the Museum’s extensive archives of life and work in the city’s western suburbs, Dyball and Kilmartin have selected stories from the diverse history of the area, to compose a new collaborative work for the Living Museum’s visitor centre and Bluestone Building.

Developed over a period of only four weeks, Echo will draw on the knowledge and experience of visitors, as well as the rich social, industrial, botanical and geological life of the area as represented and preserved by the Museum itself. The once-only event will present an embodied sense of the scale of historic activity on this unique site.

Sunday 5 July, 3-4pm
Location: Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West, Pipemakers Park, Maribyrnong.
Refreshments will be served!

The artists wish to thank Kerrie Poliness; and also acknowledge Westspace and Jane O’Neill whose ongoing engagement with the Museum have made this opportunity possible.

Changing Environment of Melbourne’s West: Our Poetic Prince, Thouroughbred stallion, standing at Stockwell Stud, Diggers Rest. This gentle horse is the winner of over $1.6 million in prize money, the richest prize winner in Australasia. Photograph, C. Dennis. © 1990 Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West