Car Design Exhibition Shifts NGV into a New Gear

05 March 2015

The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) is celebrating Australia’s rich history of innovative car design in its new exhibition Shifting Gear: Design, Innovation and the Australian Car.

A first for an Australian art institution, Shifting Gear tells the story of a home-grown industry of automotive design and engineering that created a world-wide legacy.

From steam-powered ‘horseless carriages’ to the Aussie Ute, high-octane V8s and pioneering concept vehicles, Shifting Gear displays 23 of Australia’s most iconic vehicles, as well as photographs, models, sketches and archival materials.

Alongside much loved Australian cars, visitors will see rare concept vehicles that were never put into production, including the Holden Hurricane (1969), a ground-breaking sculptural concept car; and the Buick Avenir, which was designed at Port Melbourne’s General Motors-Holden Design Centre and recently awarded Concept Car of the Year at the 2015 Detroit Motor Show.

Shifting Gear will give visitors an insight into the stories behind the development of some of Australia’s classic vehicles and will profile the talented designers who created them.

Shifting Gear: Design, Innovation and the Australian Car is now on at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia at Federation Square until 12 July 2015.

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Creative Industries, Martin Foley

“Australia has a proud history of automobile design and engineering. The work displayed in this exhibition is at the heart of the nexus between creative industries and design.”

“Shifting Gear explores the importance of design expertise to the future of Australian industry. Whilst design will remain key to the pared-down operations of General Motors Holden and Ford in this country, the Australian-made triumphs in this exhibition stand in mute rebuke of the Federal Liberal Government, which abandoned support for the Australian car industry.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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