Testing Grounds

MelbourneEating Out

Testing Grounds

Experimental project Testing Grounds turns wasteland into arts venue...

Testing Grounds in Melbourne is a big project – big in concept, big in effort, big in area, and big in possibilities. Led by Millie Cattlin and Joseph Norster, aka These Are the Projects We Do Together, it is 2000sqm of scrubland that has been transformed from demolition site to arts space thanks to the elbow grease and imagination of the area’s creative community.

Originally the home of a YMCA, nearby construction work in the 1980s upset the structural apple cart and the building had to come down, but some of the rubble not only remains but forms a useful part of the site’s new direction. Funded in part by the cash the state of Victoria would normally spend keeping the place tidy, it’s been 6 months in the making and is now open to the public on a daily basis to do… well, almost anything really. Pallets are dotted around with car headlights and stereos for hangout ambience, and a refreshments stall sells locally produced wine, beer and pop (which also helps towards costs). There’s a purpose-built studio on site that artists can apply to use, while shipping containers now double as performance stages and workshops. The industrial overtones at Testing Grounds are softened by grassland and plants, veggie patches, 24 maples and 40 pear trees – not sure about the partridge situation but we wouldn’t be surprised…

Testing Grounds — Melbourne Testing Grounds — Melbourne Testing Grounds — Melbourne Testing Grounds — Melbourne Testing Grounds — Melbourne Testing Grounds — Melbourne

Instagram