NGV is throwing a free, 10-night festival in January and it’s going to be stunning

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NGV is throwing a free, 10-night festival in January and it’s going to be stunning

Performance Series: Afrocentric. Curated by Candy Bowers. Sweet Mama by Candy Bowers . Courtesy of the artist. Photography: Teniola Komolafe
Words by Staff Writer

NGV has announced the full program for its free after-hours festival Triennial EXTRA, with a mixture of world-class music and stunning visual arts from January 19-28.

As if NGV’s epic Triennial program needed any extra incentives, Melbourne’s iconic gallery has announced Triennial EXTRA. Over 10 nights in January, artists, performers, DJs, writers and creatives will create new experiences every night.

Triennial EXTRA

  • A free after-hours festival of music, art and creation
  • 10 nights, from 19-28 January 2024 until 11pm
  • Across a range of NGV spaces

NGV’s Federation Court

There will be performances from 6 – 9pm every night – ranging from live music to spoken word poetry to dance – overlooked by two monumental sculptures by British artist Thomas J Price in NGV’s Federation Court. This part of the program will spotlight the African diaspora living in Australia, guest-curated by Candy Bowers.

Then, from 9 – 11pm nightly, there will be some unmissable DJ sets with performances from Sui Zhen, RONA, C.FRIM, and IN2STELLAR among others, transforming Federation Court into a dancefloor as the sun goes down.

Great Hall

As the Australian Open captures Melbourne’s imagination, NGV’s Great Hall is set to feature an ever-changing exhibition featuring 8,000 tennis balls. Melbourne Tennis Ball Exchange, by leading British artist David Shrigley, will allow visitors to bring and swap their own tennis balls for new ones, in an interactive nod to the pleasure of trading everyday goods.

In the Great Hall, visitors can enjoy Moët Imperial champagne and Moët Rosé Impérial from the Moët & Chandon Bar while the Four Pillars Gin Bar in the Gallery Kitchen café offers signature Four Pillars G&Ts and Four Pillars Gin bespoke cocktails.

NGV’s medieval galleries

The medieval galleries will welcome Richard Lewer’s Confessions, a participatory series from the acclaimed Melbourne artist. Over four nights, the artist will paint artworks in response to his interactions with audience members. This series goes hand-in-hand with his work on display in  Triennial, Adam and Eve.

A spectacular fusion of music and art

Swiss artist Franziska Furter’s work, one the obvious visual standouts of Triennial, is a nine-metre-wide carpet featuring a vibrant visualisation of hurricane satellite images underneath 3,000 strands of glass beads. Every night, this epic work will become a stage for performances by Melbourne choral group Alchemy Consort.

Melbourne Opera soprano, Rebecca Rashleigh, and harpist, Glavier Aldana Norgiega, will perform among the Triennial artworks in what promises to be an immersive exploration of devotion, reverence, and obsession.

Also occurring throughout the Triennial exhibition spaces, exceptional guzheng artist Mindy Meng Wang will perform a series of sound interventions, creating a multi-sensory experience through the melding of her compositions and visuals of the artworks.

Diving deeper into creation

There will also be a range of intriguing talks as part of the program. Art historian Dr Olivia Meehan will engage creative writers, scientists, and academics, to consider the persistent presence of the weather – from climate, landscape and the seasons, to newsworthy meteorological events – in our everyday lives. It could hardly be a more pertinent conversation.

Audiences will also have the opportunity to get closer to the creative practice of artists exhibiting work in Triennial, through artist talks including Indonesian-based Nadiah Bamadhaj and Malaysian artist Yee I-Lann, as well as local artists Hoda Afshar, Prudence Flint, Ezz Monem and Richard Lewer.

The Garden Restaurant Terrace

On the Garden Restaurant Terrace, the Yering Station Wine Bar offers a space for visitors to indulge in oysters and charcuterie platters complemented with fine wines from the Yarra Vallery.

The NGV Garden Restaurant is also open nightly with an a la carte menu and shared dining options, and from the Great Hall and NGV Garden guests can enjoy a menu ranging from pork belly bao, wagyu beef sliders, Moroccan fried cauliflower, and gelato.

Triennial EXTRA takes place 19–28 January 2024, open from 6.00pm until 11.00pm with free entry. For more information, head here.

This article was made in partnership with NGV.