From the Streets of Melbourne

Exhibition at the Melbourne City Library

What better place to display works made from found objects from the city streets but the place that many city dwellers consider their home away from home—the Melbourne City Library.

My solo exhibition ran from 9 January to 4 February 2018. You can view the exhibition on Instagram using the hashtag #nancydeecitylibraryshow.

Planning for the exhibition

The library has a range of display cases throughout the ground and mezzanine floors. The venue was perfectly suited to my small-scale works.

At first I thought there wouldn’t be much room. However, I began to realise how many nooks and crannies there were. I calculated that I would need about 45 works to fill the space.

Preparing for the show required lots of measuring and decision-making. I had to figure out which works looked best together, as well as how they fit best into the variously sized library display cases.

Layout of the exhibition

At the entrance, above the book return chutes, I showed my larger and more unusual works, such as Grand Circle Tour 2. All of these display cases were well lit.

At the entryway was a large flat tabletop display case, where I could exhibit my small 3-dimensional sculptures. These included Mt Rustmore. Visitors could view them from above, as well as side on.

On the stairwell to the mezzanine were open shelves, so here I placed sturdier, non-breakable works. This was in case people inadvertently knocked them over or picked them up to look more closely. This is where I displayed Lonsdale Mandala, made from a barbecue grill my husband found on Lonsdale Street.

Further back, above the English as a Second Language books, was a long row of unlit cases. Here I displayed simpler works, in which I juxtaposed various materials. Silver Bulbs Among the Gold 1, which alternated cream chargers with bicycle reflectors, was here.

Upstairs in the mezzanine, there were more lighted but locked display cases. Here I could put works that needed extra protection, such as Nutbush 1. This work is much heavier than it looks – over 2 kilos!

Along with the exhibition

In conjunction with the exhibition, I presented an artist talk and found object workshop. This was held at the North Melbourne Library.

Participants made flatlays using materials I had collected. You can view the flatlays made at the workshop on my Instagram account, @nancydeeworkshops.

After the exhibition

As a result of the exhibition, several of my works found new homes. Some stayed here in Melbourne, but others travelled as far away as Queensland, Barcelona and Lisbon.

And now for the best part: In the year since the exhibition, three different people that I was meeting for the first time asked me whether I was the same person who had had the exhibition at the City Library using all the street trash. Indeed I was!