Build a public arts and architecture library in St Kilda’s Church Square?

Panel Discussion

27 March 2021 as part of the NGV’s Melbourne Art Book Fair


In discussing Church Square’s history, Church Square’s advocacy for artists against a plight of poverty as early as 1856, the battle faced to save this heritage site from inappropriate development, and the back garden’s historical connections yet to be explored.

Register to attend the online discussion.

You will receive upcoming details, a reminder on the day and a link with which to participate.

Paul Taylor once said in the New York Times that St Kilda is the Australian suburb with the greatest number of artistic associations.

We can either build or ignore Church Square’s unique door into the history of St Kilda, which is also an art history of Victoria.

Saturday 27 March 2021
3:00 – 5:00pm
presented online by the
Prahran Mechanics’ Institute Victorian History Library

This detail of Eugene von Guérard’s painting Mr Clark’s Station, Deep Creek, near Keilor that is part of the National Gallery of Victoria’s collection, shows the 1857 garden of Charles Swyer, the architect of Church Square. It is the sister garden to the one he also laid out at the back of Church Square at the same time, but which was degraded beyond recognition over the years.

Artefact Church Square’s proposal for an Arts and Architecture Library and a restored historical garden helped save the back of Church Square from becoming a car park.

Detail – see below for full image
Eugene von Guérard
Mr Clark’s Station, Deep Creek, near Keilor 1867
oil on canvas, 68.4 × 122.0 cm
National Gallery of Victoria, MelbournePurchased with funds donated by Mr and Mrs Solomon Lew and with the assistance of the National Gallery Society of Victoria, 1986 Photo: National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

The Library and Garden will recommit Church Square to its historic role as central to a socially cohesive community that promotes collective wellbeing and tolerance.

It will be accompanied by an independent office of research that will champion the welfare of artists and the social and public benefits of intellectual and creative practices within a business sector unaccustomed to social capital.

Plan of Twenty two urban Allotments in the Parish of South Melbourne, County of Bourke,
for a Village to be called St Kilda, detail,
survey map by T.H. Nutt, 1842, 506 x 743 mm,
collection of the Public Record Office Victoria,
State of Victoria

Artefact Church Square respectfully acknowledges the Yaluk-ut Weelam Clan of Kulin Nation’s Boon Wurrung people, the traditional custodians of the lands on which we meet, live and work. We pay respect to their Elders past, present and emerging as First Nations people whose living heritage is in continuous connection to land, waterways, animals, plants and community, and whose artistic and cultural expression is rooted in thousands of years of continuous practice.