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The Substation’s annual open call program provides a platform for emerging and established contemporary artists to present diverse and ambitious projects. The Substation is a one of a kind venue in that its architecture invites artists to work across the building and to imagine the impossible. With a strong focus on artists engaging with multi-disciplinary practices this March The Substation will launch the following exhibitions:

Vanessa White and Carolyn Hanna


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

Now Open - Sun 31 May | Gallery Hours: Wed-Sun | 11am-5pm |
Entry FREE

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.

Lucas Davidson (Sydney)

Habitual Loop

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

Now Open - Sun 31 May | Gallery Hours: Wed-Sun | 11am-5pm |
Entry FREE

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

Now Open - Sun 31 May | Gallery Hours: Wed-Sun | 11am-5pm |
Entry FREE

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

Now Open - Sun 31 May | Gallery Hours: Wed-Sun | 11am-5pm |
Entry FREE

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

Now Open - Sun 31 May | Gallery Hours: Wed-Sun | 11am-5pm | Entry FREE

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

Image credit: Samantha McCulloch and Io Makandal, From Where I Was

Now Open - Sun 31 May | Gallery Hours: Wed-Sun | 11am-5pm | Entry FREE

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.

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



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



The first Sunday of every month in 2015

Next Markets: Sun 19 Apr


The artists' market will now be held on Sunday 19th April. As Easter Sunday falls on the first Sunday of the month, we are moving the Artists' Market to the third Sunday in April.

The Substation Artists’ Market has raised its profile of being one of the best arts and craft markets in Melbourne.

If you have any questions or would like to apply for a stall, please contact the market coordinator •This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it•

In the beautiful setting of The Substation building, the market offers over 40 local artists and designers of contemporary fashion, jewellery, ceramics, art and design. Every market also includes live music by local musicians.

Boasting creative character and a bustling shopping experience, The Substation Artists’ Market is on the first Sunday of every month (except January) from 10am until 3pm.

Buy local and support local artists’ at The Substation.
Keep an eye out for special events and updates each month!


The market is designed to showcase some of the best makers and designers that Melbourne has to offer. Our standard of quality is high and we are keen on uniqueness and originality. If you would like to apply for a stall at one of our markets, please read our terms and conditions, download a Stallholder Application Form here and return it to Markets and Pop-Up Events Producer, Marisa Fiume at •This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it•

Artists' Market


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