On my Melbourne trip over the holiday season last year, I found myself wandering the city streets on my own as my husband was caught up with business. It was a fresh experience, to explore the city at my pace and request for a table or bar seat "for one". It was online where I stumbled upon the Johnston Collection, which immediately peaked my interest.
As per its website, The Collection is the legacy of William Robert Johnston (1911-1986) an antique dealer and collector of beautiful things. He loved objects that were unusual and visually arresting. He had a sharp eye for the beauty created by the harmonious balance of line and form. He delighted in arranging objects together to create extraordinary interiors. I knew immediately that I had to book a house tour.
Located in a quaint residential area, I toured the home with a handful of white haired visitors that could pose as my Swiss grandmother. To my surprise, I stumbled upon much more than my expected antique and home decor curation. It was a special Christmas exhibit that incorporated contemporary Melbourne-based artists in juxtaposition with the standard pieces of the collection.
The first room in the Victorian house. No contrasts here, but a beautiful mix of
antique furniture andantiques sourced from all around the world.
Ceramic pottery work by a Melbourne artist.
This navy blue room was full of interesting knits for the head -- the artist takes selfies wearing them.
The entry way.
My favorite room -- the living and dining room -- completely "trashed"!
The artists created clay food, cigarettes, etc. to depict a scene of the "after party".
More of the trashed room...
spot the underwear hanging on the sconce!
More debauchery.... one man down, recovering from the craziness.
This made me LOL!
They even added some white substance on the louis love seat.
Must have been one special party.
The green room -- delicate paper cuts with an interesting play on shadows
on the walls and desk.
More knit in the master bedroom.
Knit, knit, colourful knit.
Even on the antique four poster bed!
Below is a summary of this wonderful exhibit, which left me utterly amused! What a fabulous idea to mix the old and the new. Bravo to the Johnston Collection team for putting this together!
Our wonderful Christmas at The Johnston Collection tour will ‘Return to the City’ and feature the new works by Melbourne-based makers and artists for the first time in over a decade.Each year a different region in Victoria has become the focus to create new works for this project, based on aspects or items in The Johnston Collection or relating to the life of William Robert Johnston (1911-1986).This year, The Johnston Collection has commissioned Melbourne-based artists and collectives to create and contribute to our annual exhibition-house tour.‘RETURN TO THE CITY’ will include 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 The makers have been working on their creations for over a year with many individual pieces taking hundreds of hours to complete.
The Johnston Collection has encouraged challenges to traditional making, thinking and practice through contemporary responses to the Collection, along with more traditional responses that reflect historical techniques, materials and making. This exhibition offers an ‘inspired’ interpretation of the Collection.
If you are planning a visit, please view contact link below: