Testing Grounds

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Testing Grounds

Upcoming Calendar

Testing Grounds is a temporary space for creative practices encompassing art, performance and design. From October 2019- April 2020 a village of artists occupy the indoor spaces working on major creative projects.

The outdoor grounds are programmed through an open application process that supports interdisciplinary practice, experimentation and courage. Testing Grounds is a place where people at all levels can test, develop and share their work. We encourage both creative and education-related activities.

Submit an Expression of Interest

Mapping Melbourne 2019 Festival Launch

All Ages

6-8 pm

Wheelchair accessible

Free Event

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Join us for a special preview into the festival in this night of surprises as we launch the 2019 program!

Hear from participating artists, keynote speakers and celebrate the opening of the amazing Comic Sans Exhibition curated by LIMINAL.

Featuring performances by Margot TanjutcoP7:1SMA (Singapore), and introductions from festival artists and producers.

Comic Sans

Exhibition open (8am - 4pm)

2 - 4 Dec
6 Dec
9 - 13 Dec

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The Comic Sans series considers considers drawing to be a mode of enquiry; a new way of thinking; a literary art form. These comics stretch from a few amusing thoughts to quiet moments, to deep dives into the most intimate, devastating relationships.

Community Arts Day: Mapping Melbourne

1-4pm

All Ages

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A day of food, performance, and installations.

Testing Grounds Studio Program

Ongoing

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A village of artists occupy the indoor spaces working on major creative projects. Selected through a competitive application process this cohort of artists receive a free studio in the arts precinct for seven months. The studio artists are Dan Newell, Lichen Kelp, Roberta Rich, Ava Amedi, James Voller, Bridget Chappell, Aphids, Justin Balmain, Emilie Walsh and Susannah Langley.

Wilder

PUBLIC PROGRAM wilder is accompanied by a series of free events on the themes of urban design and nature management delivered by the artists in collaboration with other artists and industry experts. 

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Explores the potential of unsuppressed nature and land management in urban spaces.

The project presents a propositional space; a fissure in the blanket of bitumen and concrete where nature is given free license to grow wild without intervention or cognitive overlay.

Over the eight-month project period, audiences will have the opportunity to visit and re-visit the site to observe and reflect on nature’s response to the conditions of wilderness within the context of Melbourne’s urban environment.

Project History

In 1925 the YMCA opened its headquarters on this site, on the banks of the Yarra River. In 1983, structural damage caused by the construction of the Roy Grounds designed Arts Centre and Concert Hall meant that the building needed to be demolished. The land was acquired by the State of Victoria as Crown Land and is reserved for arts purposes.

Since October 2013, Testing Grounds has provided Melbourne with an alternative arts space within the arts precinct. It has seen hundreds of artists show their work and has provided a space for experimental and emerging ideas to find a voice.
Testing Grounds has provided a backdrop for education and ideas-generation across a range of subjects — ideas around architecture, urban planning and community development have all been tried and tested on this strange triangle of land. It has allowed artists, students, producers and directors, painters and poets a space to take a chance, to extend their ideas and craft and make significant connections with new audiences. It has also provided the local Southbank community an open space to explore and enjoy, to walk a dog or let children play, or to just sit in a patch of sunlight for a minute and witness the beginning of a new art form.

In November 2016, Testing Grounds re-opened with upgraded infrastructure including 4 dedicated indoor spaces, and a large multipurpose outdoor area.

While the site’s long term future is still currently undetermined, Testing Grounds continues to occupy the site for the short term, providing an alternative place for creative activities, alongside more traditional venues in the precinct.

Project Team

Testing Grounds is operated by These Are The Projects We Do Together, a studio with a focus on public projects and programming within the fields of art, design and architecture; with support from the Victorian Government, through Creative Victoria.

Millie Cattlin

Design Director

Millie has been directly involved with setting up Testing Grounds and shaping the intention and direction of the project. Millie and Joe run The Projects, a design studio with a focus on public projects and programming within the fields of art, design and architecture. Millie has a background in architecture and design and is a registered architect in Victoria.

millie@theprojects.com.au

Joseph Norster 

General Manager

Joe has been directly involved with setting up Testing Grounds and shaping the intention and direction of the project. Joe and Millie run The Projects, a design studio with a focus on public projects and programming within the fields of art, design and architecture. Joe has a background in theatre, lighting and production design and public art.

joseph@theprojects.com.au

Arie Rain Glorie

Program Director and Curator

Arie has been involved directly in shaping the program structure at Testing Grounds, and is your main point of contact for all creative projects. Arie is an artist and a curator with a focus on experimental and emerging models of creative practice. He has a background in producing large-scale contemporary art events, festivals and exhibitions.

arie@theprojects.com.au

Advisory Group

A group that discusses issues or areas of interest around the Testing Grounds project with the creative practitioner always at the forefront of the conversation.

Testing Grounds would like to thank the following people for their ongoing and valuable contribution: Gemma Gordon, Eugene Howard, Matthew Jones, Eugenia Lim, Mark Pritchard, Lynda Roberts, Kimba Thompson, Bree Trevena, and Michael Trudgeon.

Location and Access

Testing Grounds is located at 1 City Road, Southbank, just behind the Arts Centre, in Melbourne's arts precinct.

Testing Grounds is nestled between the Arts Centre and Australian Ballet Centre. On foot, the site is most easily accessed via the stairs behind the Arts Centre from St Kilda Road (past Inge King’s ‘Forward Surge’ sculpture). There are many spots to lock a bicycle on site and car parking located very close at the Arts Centre or Australian Ballet Centre.

Testing Grounds from Flinders Street Station via ramp (video link)Testing Grounds from Flinders Street Station via stairs (video link)

Contact and Open Hours

1 City Road, Southbank, VIC 3006 Australia

Community Precinct coffee open the site Mondays- Fridays (8am-4pm)

Testing Grounds is open for creative projects and special events – check the upcoming calendar for details.

testing-grounds@theprojects.com.au

@testinggrounds
#testinggrounds

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