The GPG PROJECT SPACES CURATOR’S PROGRAM  focuses on curatorial practice in alternative spaces.  The program pushes for risk taking and experimentation.  It prioritises projects that address the public space of Union House, and its context within the University of Melbourne.  Each exhibition runs for one month across all three alternative spaces, with a closing celebration the final Wednesday of the exhibition.

Please come and chat to us about your ideas!

PROJECT SPACES DIMENSIONS – please click on links below:

VITRINE SPACE (Ground floor, North Court entrance)
WEST GLASS CABINET (Second Floor, opposite the Rowden White Library)

EXPERIMENTAL ART SPACE (Second Floor, outside the GPG)

Union House, The University of Melbourne
VITRINE   Chillout Café, Ground floor

MAY 2017
CLOSING EVENT: Wednesday 31 May 5 – 7 pm

New Botanic Drawing

New Botanic Drawing (‘NBD’) was a lunchtime course run by UMSU with artist Andrew Seward. Over nine weeks a range of materials, techniques and lively approaches were introduced in order to address the many challenges of drawing plants from life.

Classes providing tuition in the use of various drawing media and watercolour were alternated with classes that invited students to apply skills to new concepts and contexts. For example, one class utilised a herbarium devoted to ruderal (‘weedy’) species as subject matter for drawing. The herbarium inspired a collaborative watercolour drawing that reflected surrealist notions of chance, hybridity and Goethe’s poetic ideas about plant metamorphosis and a universal plant form the ‘urpflanze’. The student’s artwork stands in contrast to – but perhaps also in oblique agreement with – the taxonomic conventions of the ‘Type’ specimen at the heart of orthodox scientific collections. In another class, students copied directly from artworks included in the exhibition Not As The Songs of Other Lands at the Ian Potter Museum of Art. Although focused on examples of plant depiction, the exhibition’s silent theme – of the violence and dispossession wrought by European settler societies on Indigenous cultures and communities in Australia and North America – came to be heard very clearly by the students and led to serious discussions in later classes about the value-laden status of all images and artworks.

In the last class students made drawings intended to be a gift for an undisclosed recipient. This conceptual framework allowed questions of meaning in art making to be explored as the purpose and ethics of public exhibitions of privately made work were considered.

With the demands of study, work and just being a young person today NBD was a chance for a group of regulars (and a few drop-ins) to learn creatively and work peacefully together each week. These are the impressive results of just that little bit of time.

MARCH 2017
CLOSING EVENT: Wednesday 29 March 5 – 7 pm

David McBurney

Orientation celebrates the start of a new academic year for students at the University of Melbourne and uses their movement through Union House to visually activate this artwork as they pass by.

Displayed works in the GPG Project Spaces are layered, monochromatic prints on paper and transparency film which animate with moiré patterns as the viewer moves past.

Influenced by the Vitrine nature of the GPG Project Spaces, and indebted to help and advice from the University of Melbourne’s Brain Centre Imaging Unit, the works are inspired by scans of pre-motor activity within the brain, an area of study directly linked to the conscious control of our own movements… but also with connections to the deep philosophical question of free will.

David McBurney is a New Zealand born, UK educated, Irish-Vietnamese artist living in Melbourne. David holds a BA in Advertising from RMIT University and currently teaches into the graduate course of Visual Communication at Swinburne University.

McBurney’s current work looks at the moments of physical and intellectual transfer that occur within visual communication, and asks if these identified moments can be used to deliver new encounters between the maker, the materials and the audience.


David McBurney ‘Orientation’ Vitrine Project Space, March 2017


David McBurney, ‘Orientation’ Experimental Art Space, March 2017


David McBurney, ‘Orientation’ West Glass Cabinet, March 2017



2016 Project space 1 Man who never threw anything away
2016 Project space 2 Investigative Space
2016 Project space 3 Creative Arts
2016 Project space 4 Aya Hamamoto
2016 Project space 5 David Borg
2016 Project space 6 Ideas Show PLATFORM
2016 Project space 7 Sarah Werkmeister



2015 Project space 1 Rachel Joy
2015 Project space 2 Louis Mason
2015 Project spaces 3 Jake Treacy
2015 Project Spaces 4 Nick Kleindeinst
2015 Project Spaces 5 Mudfest Sascha