In need of a weekend escape, without leaving the city?

By Sarah Harrison

Get a dose of cult culture all under one roof.

On Saturdays, the city has public access to a series of galleries passionate about hosting and showcasing emerging and established artists. Escape the hustle and bustle of the city to a completely different world. Here are a few of the galleries that you can discover within the Nicholas Building at 35 Swanston St on your weekend.

1. Da Bronx Gallery – Level 7 

Da Bronx Gallery specialises in photographic works but also often features sculpture and painting. A boutique space of just 25sqm, Da Bronx overlooks St Paul’s cathedral and the City Square allowing you to experience the city sounds drifting through the gallery as you peruse through what’s on show. Currently it’s Photographic Subjects with architectural and landscape photography appearing until the end of April. Open Saturdays 2-6pm.

2. Stephen McLaughlan Gallery – Level 8

An airy space that sits above and across from Flinders St Station, Stephen McLaughlan Gallery has been showcasing contemporary artists in the Nicholas Building since the ‘90s. Exhibitions change every three weeks so there’s always something fresh to see.

From April 8-25, you’ll find Catherine Clover’s Shooting the Breeze, with a multi-faceted exhibition incorporating sound, text and a musical performance that will draw on elements from both in and outside of the gallery. Join an animated host who will happily regale you with stories about Melbourne artists and the city itself. Open Saturdays 11am-5pm.

3. Blindside – Level 7

This busy, independent gallery presents an ever-changing plethora of exhibitions, screenings, events and workshops showcasing contemporary artists. Passionate about supporting artistic experimentation, innovation and critical dialogue, you can expect an interesting mix of solo and curated group shows from emerging and established artists at Blindside.

In April, Future Communication explores the communication and language of future Australia in 50 years’ time. Additionally, Opera & Art in Question presents a final opera score as performed by artists who have undertaken opera singing training to examine the process of questioning art as a medium, as based on text from the book Art in Question. Open Saturdays 12noon-6pm.

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