Follow us on FacebookFollow us on Twitter

The Substation is one of Melbourne's few truly multi-arts venues and features a 260-seat performance space, rehearsal studio and the western suburb's largest gallery space.

Vanessa White and Carolyn Hanna


Image credit: Vanessa White and Carolyn Hanna, Plasticus. Direction: John Paul Fischbach. Photography: Paul Dunn

Exhibition: Fri 27 Mar 2015 - Sun 10 May 2015
Opening: Thurs 26 Mar 2015 (6pm - 8pm)

Plasticus is a provocative, humorous exploration, and experimentation of interdisciplinary art and friendship. Don’t miss the performance on opening night as the performers immerse themselves in each other’s practice alongside their own accomplished field, integrating skills across the different disciplines.

Carolyn Hanna (performer) and Vanessa White (artist) use the framework of their long standing 30 year friendship to navigate a pathway through a visceral artwork that traverses visual art and physical theatre, along the way exposing the humour within each discipline to shine a light on the absurdity of labeling and categorising within the ever expanding context of interdisciplinary art.

Carolyn Hanna and Vanessa White will stage a performance at the exhibition opening on Thursday 26 March. Performance begins at 7pm.


Lucas Davidson (Sydney)

Habitual Loop

Image credit: Lucas Davidson, The Weight of Water, installation detail: Linden Centre of Contemporary Art, 2014

Exhibition: Fri 27 Mar 2015 - Sun 10 May 2015
Opening: Thurs 26 Mar 2015 (6pm - 8pm)

Habitual Loop is a series of video works presenting imagery from the artist’s body, skin and blood.

Taking the self-portrait as a reference point to examine the impermanent nature of the human condition. Davidson’s often disjointed work requires the viewer to piece together fragments of information and take liberties to fill in the gaps when needed. By mixing conventional modes of viewing and authorship, the discourses surrounding the installation become unstable, falling in and out of alignment much like the bodily forms within the work. For Davidson, this allows for a variety of interpretations and highlights how the body and consciousness is in a process of continual change.

Habitual Loop aims to challenge the assumption that disorientation is dangerous and proposes that the randomness we encounter in life can be productive.

Tace Kelly, Rosina Prestia, and Briony Galligan

Body Language Does Not Have a Grammar

Image credit: Briony Galligan, Between the Backdrop. Performance documentation with Briony Galligan and Rosina Prestia, 2014. Photography: Aaron Puls

Exhibition: Fri 27 Mar 2015 - Sun 10 May 2015
Opening: Thurs 26 Mar 2015 (6pm - 8pm)

This exhibition is the beginning of an evolving group project between visual artists Tace Kelly, Rosina Prestia and Briony Galligan. The project is a platform for the artists to engage with notions of generosity and exchange, taking and receiving between one another as feminist strategies. In this strategy, hierarchies and rules of authorship are effectively flattened through processes of exchanging and re-making each other’s models and permeable forms. The platform is interested in addressing known constructs of language. As a parameter to work with, the absence of certain vehicles to obtain language, such as voice, will be challenged.  With each iteration, intimate and subtle differences are inserted into the way an object is made, utilised and performed. Dimensions of the body like the inner ear, thigh or space required for three heads are abstracted, fashioned as apparatus and tested through performance.

The installation includes video, sculptural works and performance to suggest how communication operates without language. Whilst sometimes unperceivable, like pushing something heavy, communicating eye-to-eye, or listening to a breath, the artists create models that slowly animate positions from which to act or move.

Anna Higgins

Trouble In The Image

Image credit: Anna Higgins, Turbulence, 2015

Exhibition: Fri 27 Mar 2015 - Sun 10 May 2015
Opening: Thurs 26 Mar 2015 (6pm - 8pm)

Double Negative focuses on the turbulent underside of images. The series is made up of photographic prints and installation works that depict both the persistence and deterioration of vision.

The works for this exhibition are made using film.  This analogue and material process creates restrictions and unconventional methods that lead to strange and unknown outcomes with spatial and temporal ambiguity. Material based techniques and experimental special effects are coupled with three-dimensional elements in and outside the frame.

A filmic or cinematic glow creates a suspension of disbelief. The work samples and mixes places and forms from disparate sources such as Japan, the Australian desert, and Hollywood movies and in and around the western suburbs of Melbourne.  Composed through the lens and blended and cut through experimental processes, the images amalgamate and coagulate to create uncomfortable and strange new visions. 

Tom Parsons and Avni Dauti

Infinite Intersect

Image credit: The Substation Building (detail). Image courtesy of: VicTrack

Exhibition: Fri 27 Mar 2015 - Sun 10 May 2015
Opening: Thurs 26 Mar 2015 (6pm - 8pm)

Infinite Intersect is centered by an investigation of The Substation site and building as a facility used for the conversion of electricity to feed the local rail network, running power through lines and intersects. The project considers and makes note of the history of the site, treating the Substation as somewhat analogous to the approach to the production of the work; in a way acting as a tactical method whereby both artists interact between each other’s practices to feed the outcome of creating a new collaborative work.

Samantha McCulloch and Io Makandal

From Where I Was

Exhibition: Fri 27 Mar 2015 - Sun 10 May 2015
Opening: Thurs 26 Mar 2015 (6pm - 8pm)

From Where I Was is a site-responsive project facilitating exchange between Io Makandal, a Johannesburg-based artist, and Samantha McCulloch, currently based in Melbourne. The project responds to two sites – The Substation in Melbourne’s west, and the Braamfontein district of Johannesburg in association with the Kalashnikovv Gallery.

The project examines the ways in which gentrification is part of globalisation, reminiscent of earlier forms of mercantile expansion. ‘Revival’ of urban space, often in conjunction with the development of artistic projects, will be self-consciously questioned, as the work produced reflects on contested urban frontiers. Additionally, our exchange questions the relationship between object and site, while challenging the cult of individual authorship through acts of instruction. As the object is unhinged from its supposed ‘origin’, its connotations are transformed.

In addition to this, placing the traces and objects of site into the gallery space infuses them with value. Although this idea is not a novel one, this self-reflexive act investigates the effect of these cultural spaces on developing urban areas, with all their meta-matter.

Transit Gallery

Inez de Vega

Dear Billboard

Exhibition: Fri 27 Mar 2015 - Sun 10 May 2015
Opening: Thurs 26 Mar 2015 (6pm - 8pm)

“To state that Capitalism is ubiquitous, rampant and inescapable would be to state the obvious. And yet what can the individual do about it? Mostly it feels overwhelming to me: like one giant oppressive structure that is now so entrenched as the dominant architecture of our universe that I can do nothing except, perhaps, wait for its implosion. Paradoxically, I imagine that such an implosion will be a catastrophe for our world, leading to much conflict and instability. Therefore, I can only hope it doesn’t happen in my lifetime. Then it occurs to me that this is not a compassionate wish for the generation that follows … so I get stuck in a sort of negative feedback-loop and it all feels rather hopeless.” — Inez de Vega

In her six posters installed outside in the Transit Gallery at The Substation, Inez de Vega is responding to the unrelenting march of Capitalism that has been likened to a runaway train. Many of us feel sickened by our participation in a system that constantly tells us we are not good enough in order to buy more stuff. Yet participate we do. Using one of the icons of Capitalism – the advertising billboard – dear billboard… is an advertisement to advertising to stop advertising to her.

De Vega’s plea is as useless as it is Utopian.

Gallery Hours: Wed-Sun | 11am-5pm
Entry FREE



Fri 27 Feb 2015  

Following on from his wildly successful national tour and the release of his much-lauded new album Gon’ Boogaloo, C.W. Stoneking is all set to bring his tunes to The Substation this February. Released on October 17 2014, it has been a six year wait for the latest taste of C.W.’s inimitable musical stylings.  

Gone are the sepia-toned tales of marooned adventures in the tropics of his last release, the ARIA Award winning Jungle Blues, this time replaced with the latest invention in the world of C.W. Stoneking, electricity!  C.W. has stashed his afore-favoured vintage National guitar and banjo combo for a shiny gold Fender and an extra-large helping of rock ‘n’ gospel dancehall blues to deliver 12 tracks recorded directly to tape with his full band, his very own hokum wall of sound.

Don’t miss your chance to catch this enigmatic and charismatic performer live!

Time: Doors open at 7.30pm | Show starts at 8pm





Friday 24 October 2014

Perch Creek are a band of five energetic multi-instrumentalists and vocalists, four of whom happen to be siblings. This Melbourne-based band play harmony driven roots music with a creative energy and fearless spirit that sparkles with imagination and individuality.

Perch Creek have been performing and evolving over the best part of ten years, taking their music across the globe and laying the foundations to become one of the most entertaining and innovative original musical acts doing the rounds of Australia and the international stage today.

Perch Creek — who have appeared everywhere from ABC's Spicks & Specks to The Sydney Opera House, as well as extensive tours and major festival appearances across Australia, Europe and the UK (Edinburgh Fringe, WOMAD, The Falls Festival, Woodford Folk Festival, Golden Plains) — stand to be counted with their new album Jumping On The Highwire. The band consistently deliver unforgettable, high-energy shows - at moments haunting, but ultimately uplifting.




Thursday 28 August - Saturday 30 August 2014

Following a sell-out season at La Mama in 2013, Two Mortals returns with cheekiness, wit and wisdom for a fresh look at mortality.

Two Mortals was created from interviews with people who work and live with mortality everyday - an undertaker, a minister, a wills and estates lawyer, a cryogenicist, a carer, a palliative care nurse and a counsellor. This multi-character performance uses headphone verbatim technique, including pre-show interviews from the audience, unique to every performance. Come early and be part of the script!

Presented by La Mama Mobile. 



The Substation supports the work of two Companies in Residence: Born in a Taxi and Nat Cursio Co. These companies receive free use of the venue to rehearse, create new work and run their own mentoring and training programs.

In 2013, The Substation presented the premiere of Nat Cursio Co.'s new work 'Blizzard' in a sell out season, and also hosted the much anticipated re-working of Born in a Taxi's 'The Waiting Room' as part of the 2013 Big West Festival.

The Substation also has a relationship with Speak Percussion on a project-by-project basis, and has successfully partnered with Speak to deliver both community engagement and artist development projects.

Nat Cursio Co. Blizzard, 2013


•Page 1 of 5•