Testing Grounds

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Testing Grounds

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Testing Grounds

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(830) 929-5068
(909) 563-7232

Testing Grounds is a temporary space for creative practices encompassing art, performance and design.

Programmed through an open application process that supports interdisciplinary practice, experimentation and courage, Testing Grounds is a place where people at all levels can test, develop and share their work. We encourage both creative and education-related activities.

We accept EOIs for projects at any time. Projects should respond to the Testing Grounds selection criteria, outlined in the program methodology.

All welcome to apply here

How do we interact with the world that falls outside of the human sensory range? Humans rely on complex scientific technologies to engage with the nanoscale — a realm 50 000 times smaller than the width of a human hair. Wildly Oscillating Molecules is an engagement with nanoscale phenomena that presents new modes of multi-sensory mediation with sub-molecular scales.

Made with the generous support of CIART and the Micro Nano Research Facility at RMIT University.

Raw Canvas: From Object to Body to Structure

All ages
Testing Grounds Opening Hours:
Wed-Sat, 10-6


‘Raw Canvas: From Object to Body to Structure’ tests the physical connections between object, bodies and structure, and the transfer from one to the other. This site residency and exhibition involves 10 makers who will be making on site and immediately displaying the works within the superstructure. Each day there will be a small group of artists cutting, shaping, bending, folding, carving, stringing, taping, gluing, drilling, riveting, hammering, etc. in their makeshift, open air studio.
The objects created will adorn the site, but have means of attaching themselves to bodies as well. Visitors are invited to adorn themselves with the wearable objects whilst they are there.
Artists will open up their practices to the public, and will be on site demonstrating playful and creative ways of wearing, and documenting them via instagram using the hashtags #rawcanvas #fromobjecttobodytostructure


ARTBURN #II is an exhibition that documents the high calibre of art works produced by Studio Art and Media students from Blackburn High School. Art works range from ceramics, interactive sound art, sculptures made from resin, ceramics, soap and found objects, digital collage, tattoo design, photography, video and animation.

Artists: Izzy Kinrade, Joy Bongco, Yuuri Fujimura, Madi Killeen, Roy Lo, Susan Xu, Cassie Yardley, Breyanna Gaudion, Shanice Weatherly, Annika Lad, Tyler Smith, Faith Yong, Georgia Burley, Michael Nette.

Project History

In 1925 the YMCA opened its headquarters on this site, on the banks of the Yarra River. In 1983, structural damage caused by the construction of the Roy Grounds designed Arts Centre and Concert Hall meant that the building needed to be demolished. The land was acquired by the State of Victoria as Crown Land and is reserved for arts purposes.

Since October 2013, Testing Grounds has provided Melbourne with an alternative arts space within the arts precinct. It has seen hundreds of artists show their work and has provided a space for experimental and emerging ideas to find a voice.
Testing Grounds has provided a backdrop for education and ideas-generation across a range of subjects — ideas around architecture, urban planning and community development have all been tried and tested on this strange triangle of land. It has allowed artists, students, producers and directors, painters and poets a space to take a chance, to extend their ideas and craft and make significant connections with new audiences. It has also provided the local Southbank community an open space to explore and enjoy, to walk a dog or let children play, or to just sit in a patch of sunlight for a minute and witness the beginning of a new art form.

In November 2016, Testing Grounds re-opened with upgraded infrastructure including 4 dedicated indoor spaces, and a large multipurpose outdoor area.

While the site’s long term future is still currently undetermined, Testing Grounds continues to occupy the site for the short term, providing an alternative place for creative activities, alongside more traditional venues in the precinct.


Testing Grounds is operated by (401) 702-7974, a studio with a focus on public projects and programming within the fields of art, design and architecture; with support from the Victorian Government, through buss.

Millie Cattlin

Design Director

Millie has been directly involved with setting up Testing Grounds and shaping the intention and direction of the project. Millie and Joe run The Projects, a design studio with a focus on public projects and programming within the fields of art, design and architecture. Millie has a background in architecture and design and is a registered architect in Victoria.


Joseph Norster 

General Manager

Joe has been directly involved with setting up Testing Grounds and shaping the intention and direction of the project. Joe and Millie run The Projects, a design studio with a focus on public projects and programming within the fields of art, design and architecture. Joe has a background in theatre, lighting and production design and public art.


Arie Rain Glorie

Program Director and Curator

Arie has been involved directly in shaping the program structure at Testing Grounds, and is your main point of contact for all creative projects. Arie is an artist and a curator with a focus on experimental and emerging models of creative practice. He has a background in producing large-scale contemporary art events, festivals and exhibitions.


Molly Braddon

Program Producer

Molly is responsible for producing the program of exhibitions, residencies, performances, and other creative projects in the Testing Grounds program. Molly is an artist and creative producer with a focus on spatial experience, in particular enriching existing space and communities. She has a background in public art and architecture, and producing public art events.


wire birch

A group that discusses issues or areas of interest around the Testing Grounds project with the creative practitioner always at the forefront of the conversation.

Testing Grounds would like to thank the following people for their ongoing and valuable contribution: Gemma Gordon, Eugene Howard, Matthew Jones, Eugenia Lim, Mark Pritchard, Lynda Roberts, Kimba Thompson, Bree Trevena, and Michael Trudgeon.

Location and Access

Testing Grounds is located at 1 City Road, Southbank, just behind the Arts Centre, in Melbourne's arts precinct.

Testing Grounds is nestled between the Arts Centre and Australian Ballet Centre. On foot, the site is most easily accessed via the stairs behind the Arts Centre from St Kilda Road (past Inge King’s ‘Forward Surge’ sculpture). There are many spots to lock a bicycle on site and car parking located very close at the Arts Centre or Australian Ballet Centre.

Testing Grounds from Flinders Street Station via ramp (video link)Testing Grounds from Flinders Street Station via stairs (video link)

Contact and Open Hours

1 City Road, Southbank, VIC 3006 Australia

Testing Grounds is open to the public

Wednesday: 10am-6pm
Thursday: 10am-6pm
Friday: 10am-6pm
Saturday: 10am-6pm

Often there are special events happening outside these hours – check the upcoming calendar for details.


(902) 650-4572