Campbell Arcade – Glass cabinets filled with often political artwork are set into the walls of the long walkway leading up to the shops. Once intended to house advertisements, the cabinets are now curated by Platform. Founded in 1990, it is Melbourne’s longest-running public art program. On the first Friday of each month, a new exhibition is unveiled. Platform Artists Group Inc. was established by artists Andrew Seward and Richard Holt in 1990 as a non-profit public art organisation.
For more than 20 years, Platform; an artist-run initiative and public art project, has been displaying various contemporary art forms in the public space known as Campbell Arcade. This underground venue provides a pedestrian underpass within Flinders Street Station and up to the hipster-clad cafes of Degraves Street. (Some people also refer to this as the Degraves Street Subway).
Originally built in 1956 when Melbourne became the venue for the Olympic Games; the art-deco inspired arcade features an original retail precinct and a thoroughfare lined with 13 large glass-fronted cabinets originally intended for advertising displays. These are now used by Platform guest artists as part of their continually changing contemporary displays. An example appears above where an unknown artist did a broomstick display some years ago. Because contemporary art can appear challenging, I have nominated this piece into my ‘Questionable Art’ – ‘The Good‘ category. It’s not bad, and it’s not ugly. What do you think?