Explore Australia From Your Living Room: Arts & Culture

With galleries, theatres and museums currently closed to avoid the spread of COVID-19, you might be missing the colourful arts and culture scene of your city. Fortunately, a number of Australian cultural institutions have opened up virtual exhibitions, concerts and workshops for you to enjoy from your couch. Here are a few options to help you get cultured.

The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV)

Two major exhibitions that were due to open at the NGV in March – KAWS: Comparisonship in the Age of Loneliness and Keith Haring | Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines – have been uploaded to the NGV website as virtual tours, complete with a curator to guide you through the artworks. 

A range of older virtual tours is available on the NGV Channel, along with their extensive online collection of art. Ebooks and curatorial essays from the gallery are also available here for free use.

MOD.

MOD. at the University of South Australia is a futuristic museum of discovery. Responding to COVID-19, the museum has developed LIFE INTERRUPTED, an online exhibition that will continue to grow over the coming months. It offers exhibits for users to contribute to, new things to see and programming to engage with. 

In addition, MOD. has started MOD.Craft, a freely available exhibition where all you need is Minecraft. MOD.’s moderated, private server will be open Tuesday to Friday from 4-8pm, where users can explore and help build this virtual paradise.

Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA)

Since having to close the doors to the physical gallery, QAGOMA has started #HomeWithQAGOMA, directing audiences to its YouTube channel. The channel plays host to an enormous range of performances, artist stories, open studio tours and much more.

Google Arts & Culture: Art Gallery of New South Wales

The Google Arts & Culture website and associated app offer an amazing way to explore artwork from galleries across the globe. For those who want to check out the Art Gallery of NSW’s incredible collection, you can do so – virtually! Head to the Google Arts & Culture website and choose from a range of online exhibits, view all of the artwork from the gallery, or even experiment with ‘museum view’, which allows you to travel through all four floors of the gallery in a 360° tour. 

Google Arts & Culture: Art Gallery Of South Australia

The Art Gallery of South Australia has one of Australia’s most important collections of Indigenous art, as well as the only dedicated Islamic gallery space in Australia. You can check all of this out via Google Arts & Culture, and explore the museum with the 360° ‘museum view’ feature.

Sydney Opera House

If you haven’t had a chance to visit Sydney’s iconic Opera House in person yet, you can use this time to get acquainted with its rich and diverse selection of programs from your laptop or phone. The Sydney Opera House has developed a digital program with weekly live recordings, never-before-seen footage, podcasts, articles and more. New programs are announced on Tuesdays, so keep an eye on the website for updates. 

Virtual Cinémathèque

Virtual Cinémathèque, developed by the Melbourne Cinémathèque and ACMI, will share double-features that showcase classic and contemporary films on specific directors, performers or themes. It’s a weekly movie night you can enjoy from your own home, with carefully curated selections. For those who want to recreate the communal cinema experience, they encourage use of the free program Metastream, which allows you to invite your friends to watch at the same time, from your respective homes.

The details of film selections come out every Tuesday on ACMI’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and Melbourne Cinémathèque’s Facebook and Twitter, so make sure to follow them for details.

The Australian Ballet

Starting their 2020 Digital Season, The Australian Ballet is screening performances, behind-the-scenes videos, interviews and more online at Ballet TV. This season’s show is The Sleeping Beauty and it’s free for you to watch at home. It’s also a super laid-back way to enjoy the ballet – there’s no need to dress for the theatre, just dress for your living room.

If you’re feeling adventurous, Ballet TV also has ‘Dancing with David’ workshops, so you can try and perfect your port de bras and your plié.