Colossal Artwork – Lyon Housemuseum

Term: 2 Year: 2017

This is an extraordinary story of a family who are building an art museum and then donating it to the public. This is not the first innovative step the family have taken.

Their home that sits beside the new public museum is the world’s first purpose-built residence and museum combined. It is an astonishing home or museum…whichever way you look at it.

A major artwork, the size of an Olympic-sized swimming pool (44 x 20 metre), VISIBILE INVISIBLE, 2017 – by Australian contemporary artist Reko Rennie, was created to form the foundation of the new museum, encasing the concrete base of the building. The artwork was visible in its entirety for a short time.
VISIBILE INVISIBLE 2017 is Rennie’s largest single painting to date. Using over 600 litres of Dulux ‘Weathershield’ paint, the work combines the iconography of Rennie’s Aboriginal Kamilaroi heritage with elements of graffiti, subverting romantic notions of Aboriginal identity. 
Reko Rennie commented, ‘This is indeed the most ambitious and challenging work I have ever created in terms of the scale and time frame. This work turns the traditional role of camouflage on its head, using it to amplify, rather than conceal my identity, and to stake my claim to a luminous, commanding form of cultural visibility.’

The new public museum, is a major expansion of the Lyon Housemuseum. Due to open mid-2018, the museum is the result of a $14.5 million donation by the founding benefactors, the Lyon family and when completed will be one of the largest dedicated contemporary art precincts in Melbourne.

Offering a new platform for works of contemporary art, architecture and design, 
the new Housemuseum galleries will provide 
a series of spaces for international and local exhibitions and events, where new ways of presenting and experiencing art will be explored. 

Corbett Lyon commented: ‘We wanted to rethink the foundation laying for the new museum. I was struck by the idea of painting a large image over the whole of the foundation, and then progressively covering it up; a bit like the ‘Lost Leonardo’ in Florence. Artist Reko Rennie was very enthusiastic and has produced a truly spectacular work. The title, VISIBLE INVISIBLE perfectly captures the idea.’

When the museum opens in 2018, a portion of the artwork will remain visible, hinting at the colossal artwork lying beneath. The new Housemuseum galleries will be open to the public six days per week throughout the year. The original Lyon Housemuseum will continue to open regularly to the public. Check the website for details. Pre-bookings essential.

Lyon Housemuseum
217 – 219 Cotham Road, Kew. VIC 3101
Ph: +61 3 9817 2300