Beginning tonight with its opening night vernissage (read: very large art party), the Melbourne Art Fair brings the culture-set to Carlton’s Royal Exhibition Building: the gallerists, the artists, the collectors. Would you consider yourself amongst their number? Running from the 13th-17th of August, the Melbourne Art Fair showcases 70 of the region’s galleries, representing over 300 artists across painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, video and installation. Importantly, it is an opportunity for you as a consumer or collector of art to acquaint yourself with new galleries, new artists and a new way of seeing your role within the creative community.

The role of the collector, consumer or patron is not one to be pooh-poohed or considered simply for the uber-rich. In order for creative communities to exist and artists to develop their bodies of work, someone needs to be buying their work. A true personal investment on your behalf (as with a house or other valuable item), a well-chosen artwork increases in value as the artist continue to contribute as a creative. It is a symbiotic relationship, with one role unable to exist without the other. You may be guided by a gallerist towards collectable artists or you may prefer to discover artists of your own accord, beginning a trend and supporting their practice. Attending this weekend’s Melbourne Art Fair (which includes activations throughout Fitzroy, Carlton and galleries across the city) could be a great introduction to the art world and the consumption and support of modern art by living artists.
The MAF Commission (gifted to the National Gallery of Victoria) is Mikala Dwyer’s The Weight of Space, a large-form mobile that twists, distorts and is active within the space.

An introduction to Melbourne Art Fair by gallerist and exhibitor Anna Pappas.


Legendary gallerist Anna Schwartz, ruling the school. Anna spoke briefly on Mikala Dwyer’s commission and gave some context to the artist’s work.


Always breathtaking, the Royal Exhibition Building is where the Melbourne Art Fair comes to life. MAF has an extensive program including the MAF Project Rooms – a non-profit platform showcasing experimental artwork by emerging artists. There’s also a MAF Creative Space for children to create and play in a psychedelic environment (?!?) curated by Daine Singer and Minna Gilligan. Check out the full program here.



Works to enjoy; Bary Keldoulis MAF Director.


Outside the Royal Exhibition Building wearing H&M skirt, Veronika Maine greatcoat


Although I look forward to spending more time enjoying Melbourne Art Fair at tonight’s Vernissage event, I am already sure that these inquisitive, beautiful marsupials are my favorite works.


I love the contrast of works captured in this photo: at top, figurative expression painted within the Royal Exhibition Building juxtaposed with Del Kathryn Barton’s dystopic alien women.

Can’t make it to tonight’s vernissage?  I’ll be sharing my experiences on Instagram @iolantherubyslipper – so you can enjoy the evening vicariously before venturing along yourself this weekend.