An exhibition series co-ordinated by Reverie Projects in association with the Villa Alba Museum, Melbourne.
These exhibitions sustain an ongoing investigation into the way a house adopts its own personality over time. We mine the narratives that have accumulated within this historic house and interrogate the traces left behind – traces that are embedded in the walls and under the floorboards. We invite artists to take Villa Alba as their muse and reinterpret its history both literally and metaphorically. The story of Villa Alba – with its deterioration and gradual regeneration – offers a formidable, yet elusive, case study of the intersection between memory, place and narrative.
Villa Alba was built between 1882 and 1884 during the Marvellous Melbourne boom era. The house was decorated with ornate murals and stencils that covered the walls and ceilings of each room. Originally owned by William Greenlaw, the General Manager of the Colonial Bank of Australasia from 1877 to 1892, the house was eventually sold following the deaths of both Greenlaw and his wife. In 1950 it was converted into a nurses’ hostel and the murals were painted over. It is only in the last 25 years that the historic significance of the house and its valuable heritage has been recognized. During this time, a team conservators have been painstakingly removing the surface paint to reveal the original frescoes below.
Reverie Projects: Sarah Parker // Isobel Parker Philip // Daryl Prondoso // Marius Foley // Villa Alba Museum Inc.
Villa Alba Museum 44 Walmer St, Kew, Melbourne