Art is not just the visual presentation on canvas, it also opens up possibilities for new ways of thinking. Contemporary art often amazes people by the unique display and the imagination of an artist’s mind. You do not need to have the knowledge or learn the history of art to appreciate art. What art reflects and expresses is simply the emotions that we experience from everyday life. Beyond abstract forms that artists incorporate in their projects, the meaning of each work is always something that we can relate to. Contemporary art broadens and enriches our aesthetic experiences, opening us up to the power of visual art expression.
Between the 1960s to 70s, Contemporary art extended to different forms and developed to include minimalism, conceptual art, performing art, video art, land art. Continuing into the 2000s with new technology and viewing methods, contemporary artists gained more opportunities and methods to create and express their art in a variety of forms – installation art, time-based media art, and interactive art – just a few of the art forms that developed in 20th century which are still being used and are popular today.
For example, Mailbox Art Space located in the Pawson House heritage building on Flinders Lane in Melbourne, is a public art exhibition space that is placed outside traditional art galleries. It is a space inside a regular office building, when you first walk into the building, you will see 19 small mailboxes lined up like display windows. You will see miniature objects such as sculptures and paintings that are unbelievably detailed and you can imagine how much time and hard work that the artist spend on each piece. When you look at these boxes closely, you know how carefully each work was selected and made by the artists specifically for this exhibition.
In the Nicholas building on Swanston Street in Melbourne, Blindside is located on the right side of the building on the 7th floor. This space hosts more than 25 exhibitions every year: screenings, events, and workshops for students to understand contemporary art. Every floor and wall is painted white which is how most contemporary artists decorate their space. It is expressing an idea that the art is most important in this space, and the minimalist interior design helps people to focus more on the art itself.
The dirty dozen + capsule is a creative art space managed by the city of Melbourne located in the underground commuter walkway connecting Flinders street station to Degraves Street. It is one of the six fashion capsules in Melbourne that exhibit designers, artists and dressmakers in their individualist approach to design practices. Every capsule has a unique feel and theme, when you look at each one of these, it is like looking at a virtual painting or incredible places that only exist in the films or books.
Contemporary art gives people endless possibilities to understand art, it tells a story, connects with our emotions, teaches us about social issues. Art is everywhere, we do not need to book an appointment or buy a ticket. Sometimes art is just around the corner if we just take a break to see and enjoy the beautiful art in our lives.
Skylar Xu is a Media student at RMIT, she is also learning fashion design as her elective. She is currently at her last semester of University. During her spare time she loves to watch films and explore the city.
This article was written and produced as part of the CREATE Media Arts Internship Program.
Laneway Learning has partnered with The Mentorship to deliver this exciting new program to support young people aspiring to work within the creative media and arts sectors.