Lunar eclipse of the arts

Rising: 750 artists storm Melbourne for multi-venue event

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DOWN AND DIRTY: "This" by David Wood brings together 30 collaborators in a performance at The Substation in Newport that debunks pomp and power. Mud wrestling is a feature.

DOWN AND DIRTY: "This" by David Wood brings together 30 collaborators in a performance at The Substation in Newport that debunks pomp and power. Mud wrestling is a feature.


Public art installations, large-scale performances and intimate provocations on agenda.


THE wraps have been lifted from Victoria's newest major cultural event. Rising will comprise 133events and projects - including 36 world premiere commissions - featuring more than 750 Victorian artists.

With projects from a naked disco for one to an installation floating on the river, Rising will begin on the evening of May's total lunar eclipse, and include illuminated public art installations, large-scale performances and intimate provocations.

Events will take place from May 26 to June 6 at five defined areas - the Yarra River, Chinatown, the Arts District, Midtown and satellite sites.

In Midtown, Flinders Street Station will open the doors of its long-hidden ballroom for A Miracle Constantly Repeated by Patricia Piccinini, a walk-through world of hyper-real silicon sculptures, video, sound and light.

At dawn and dusk each day, harmonised voices of Indigenous and local artists will reverberate through the streets and buildings for The Rivers Sing, a sonic artwork by soprano Deborah Cheetham, with artists Byron J. Scullin and Thomas Supple.

Along the Yarra, a 200-metre illuminated floating eel will wend its way up the river to mark the Birrarung program. Further down the river, small groups will be ferried through darkness to the isolation of Herring Island, where they'll partake in a sonic bathing experience, Flow State, by sound artists Sarah Retallick and Amanda Roff.

Club Purple, atthe Queen Victoria Women's Trust, is a naturist disco and non-sexual shedding of inhibitions from Australian artist Stuart Ringholt. Simply remove your clothes, step on to the dancefloor, pick your favourite songs and go!

In a full laneway takeover, artist Michael Candy - known for his work with sculpture, robotics and hardware hacking - presents Persistence of Vision. Here he installs custom spotlights, embedded in standard CCTV camera housings, that use motion tracking technology to uncannily match your movements through the Chinatown location

Still in Chinatown is Roslyn Oades and Bob Scott's creative audio project The Nightline - a mysterious underground listening club for insomniacs, night owls, lonely-hearts and dreamers. Low-lit tables for one will house a modified rotary telephone, switchboard and lamp, and guests will be invited to stay and listen to the city's fellow restless souls.

Nature will take over the entire Sidney Myer Music Bowl, transforming its amphitheatre into a supernatural forest of ice, art, music and moonlight at The Wilds, a return to a beloved tradition - ice-skating on the bowl's stage.

At Hamer Hall, Gurrumul Yunupingu's posthumously released album, Djarimirri (Child of the Rainbow) will be celebrated with Bugul. In a live performance, Yolu dancers and will songmen present the songs, dances and paintings that inspired the album.

In How To Live, at the Capitol Theatre, filmmaker Lynette Wallworthwill present a soul-baring performance lecture that traces her real-life exodus back to freedom, following her youthful anointment as the prophet of a radical Christian cult.

Mess Hall @ Midtown will see Melbourne Town Hall converted into a bustling hub for concept-driven food and beverage experiences from some of our best-known chefs.

Presented with North Melbourne's Arts House, The Dispute is a French/Melbourne co-production by theatre-maker Mohammed El-Khatib that sees children take the stage to describe the ramifications of their parents' separation in their own words.

The Melbourne Art Trams program returns in 2021, rolling out across the city from May 21 and for the first time in the program's history, all six designs have been created by First Peoples artists.

Museo Aero Solar is a flying museum, devised by the international artistic community Aerocene and artist Toms Saraceno. It consists of a hot-air balloon made from 400 re-purposed plastic bags. Each bag is illustrated and written on by the local community, with the aim of reconnecting the community to the natural world from which the balloon's materials originate.

Many events are free and/or low-priced. To see the full schedule, click HERE