In January 2024, the renowned British artist David Shrigley will be hosting an extraordinary event at the National Gallery of Victoria. Prepare to be amazed as Shrigley invites visitors to immerse themselves in his captivating artwork, the Melbourne Tennis Ball Exchange. This mesmerizing installation, which is set to make its Australian debut, will take center stage at the NGV Triennial EXTRA program from 19th to 28th January 2024. Prepare to be dazzled by the sheer scale and ever-evolving nature of this masterpiece.
As you step into the Melbourne Tennis Ball Exchange, you’ll have the unique opportunity to become a part of this dynamic artwork. Simply bring along your pre-loved tennis ball and exchange it for one of the over 8,000 new balls that adorn the walls. Shrigley’s intention is to encourage visitors to contemplate the joy that can be found in the act of trading everyday items, even when they hold equal value.
This isn’t the first time Shrigley has captivated audiences with his Tennis Ball Exchange concept. Previously, the Mayfair Tennis Ball Exchange took London by storm in 2021 at the esteemed Stephen Friedman Gallery. Over the course of three months, thousands of people eagerly engaged with this thought-provoking artwork.
David Shrigley revealed that his dog was the source of inspiration for the Tennis Ball Exchange project. He explained that dogs and humans have different relationships with objects, and his dog’s love for tennis balls sparked the idea. Initially, he thought people would exchange old, chewed-up tennis balls for new ones, but instead, they created artwork on the balls and exchanged them. This turned the project into an open exhibition, where anyone could participate and showcase their creativity.
The NGV‘s Triennial EXTRA festival in January will feature the Melbourne Tennis Ball Exchange as a prominent attraction. Over the course of 10 nights, visitors can enjoy live performances, DJ sets, artist talks, and other creative activities that respond to the works on display in the exhibition. The festival will be open until 11.00pm every night from January 19 to 28, and admission is free. The program offers a unique and thought-provoking experience that explores contemporary art and design from around the world. Additionally, visitors to the NGV Triennial exhibition, which opens on December 3, can view David Shrigley’s Really Good, a seven-meter-high sculpture of a thumbs-up that is both satirical and sincere. Shrigley’s work often reflects on the absurdity of everyday life and was previously showcased in a solo exhibition at the NGV in 2014.
The NGV Triennial is a must-see event, showcasing the work of over 120 artists, designers, and collectives from around the world. With nearly 100 projects on display, including over 25 world-premiere commissions, this exhibition is a powerful snapshot of contemporary global practice. Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to experience art, design, and architecture in dialogue with one another across all four levels of NGV International.
Don’t miss your chance to be a part of this extraordinary experience. Mark your calendars and prepare to be enthralled by the Melbourne Tennis Ball Exchange at the National Gallery of Victoria. Triennial EXTRA takes place from 19 – 28 January 2024, every evening until 11.00pm. Further information is available via the NGV website: Triennial EXTRA | NGV | Triennial
Images courtesy of © Mark Blower 2021 and NGV