Museum hop into your next adventure

Are you a science enthusiast or an art lover? Museums Victoria’s breadth of programming brings together the best of both worlds.

Museums are master storytellers connecting past and present, and the wide range of offerings from Museums Victoria are no exception.

Museums Victoria is the umbrella organisation for Melbourne Museum, Scienceworks, Immigration Museum and IMAX Melbourne, as well as Museums Victoria’s largest collection item, the iconic UNESCO World Heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Building.

Currently, Melbourne Museum is showing Sutr Santati: Then. Now. Next, celebrating 75 years of India’s independence in a beautiful exhibition of stories woven in thread.

Under the curation of Lavina Baldota of the Abheraj Baldota Foundation, Sutr Santati focuses on ideas of organic and slow consumerism, with innovation at the core of India’s identity and unique textile practices. Sutr Santati means ‘continuity of thread’ in Hindi and highlights the ongoing dialogues in Indian culture and society.

The 75 hand-woven textiles on view are created by some of the country’s most prominent artisans, craftspeople and designers, including textile artist Julie Kagti, Waseem Ahmad and fashion designer Wajahat Hussain Rather (Raffughar). Altogether, Sutr Santati is a sensually and culturally rich experience, which showcases a range of techniques and materials that communicate an important legacy.

Wizards and wonders

For families looking for some wizardry fun, Fantastic Beasts™: The Wonder of Nature transports the magic creatures of the Wizarding World to Melbourne alongside animals from London’s Natural History Museum collection. It’s an opportunity to delve into diverse specimens and fantastical models, as well as original artworks from Bloomsbury Publishing and props from the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts film series.

To ensure everyone can get the most out of this delightful exhibition, quiet and low sensory areas are situated across Melbourne Museum and a social story is available for families and teachers who may be visiting the show with children on the autism spectrum.

Scienceworks sets the scene for immersive planetary explorations with further exciting events. The after-hours, adults-only program, Planetarium Nights presents a stellar line-up of film screenings on its 16-metre full dome display. Two screenings are available each night, with the first 7.30pm session focusing on astronomy and the 9pm session featuring art films.

Also at Scienceworks is Illuminate: How Science Comes to Light – an interactive family-friendly adventure featuring a breadth of hands-on activities. The exhibition dives deeply into the the fastest traveller in the universe, light, and ignites the senses to invite learning through play. Catch it in the final weeks before the show closes on 9 July.

At Illuminate, curiosity can guide visitors to explore everything from ‘Why does my shadow change?’ to ‘The secret of colours’. The exhibition is arranged in six interactive zones, capturing how light makes up our experience of the world. Visitors should prepare to see themselves anew through manipulating mirrors, and dance to the beat of the invisible laser sensor chamber.

Can’t wait to experience them all? A Museum Membership offers free general entry to all three Museums Victoria venues, with perks and discounts to kick off your journey of discovery.

Highlights at Melbourne Museum
Sutr Santati: Then. Now. Next is on view until 3 September; ticketed.
Fantastic Beasts™: The Wonder of Nature is on view from 19 May to 8 October; ticketed.

Highlights at Scienceworks
Planetarium Nights is held every Friday at 7.30pm and 9pm, program changes monthly; ticketed.
Illuminate: How Science Comes to Light is on view until 9 July; ticketed.

Celina Lei is an arts writer and editor at ArtsHub. She acquired her M.A in Art, Law and Business in New York with a B.A. in Art History and Philosophy from the University of Melbourne. She has previously worked across global art hubs in Beijing, Hong Kong and New York in both the commercial art sector and art criticism. Most recently she took part in drafting NAVA’s revised Code of Practice - Art Fairs. Celina is based in Naarm/Melbourne. Instagram: @lleizy_