First Commissions Exhibition

The former Victorian Police Mounted Branch Stables and riding school on Dodds Street have been transformed into dynamic spaces for the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music.

Martyn Myer Arena & The Octagon

Formerly the Riding Hall, where Victoria Police trained their horses, Martyn Myer Arena is now a 260-seat multipurpose arts wing, a venue that can be configured for all manner of performances and exhibitions across all artforms. The space is entered via The Octagon, a unique teaching and exhibition space for Visual Art staff and students.

First Commissions

On Open House Weekend, you can be among the first to see our landmark exhibition First Commissions in the Martyn Myer Arena and Octagon. The exhibition is curated by Sabrina Baker and features the work of 30 emerging artists across the entire Faculty, who have interpreted world-changing historical commissions for the present moment – from the Titanic to Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty. Without knowing the origin of these classic commissioning briefs, these artists have created contemporary works that cast a range of urgent and enduring global issues in a stark new light, from feminism through to climate change, grief and loss.

About the Virtual Gallery

The Virtual Gallery is a curated online space featuring 30 works from our emerging artists, making them accessible to a global audience. Their responses to the seven briefs range from performance pieces, short film, animation, orchestral compositions and visual art. Covering such themes as climate change, refugee asylum, terrorism and rape culture, the artists have presented their pieces within the virtual gallery space in a way they feel best conveys their artistic vision.

For more information, please visit

 Bookings not required.

Important Details


Martyn Myer Arena and Octagon, corner of Grant and Dodds Streets, Southbank

Time & Date

Saturday 27 + Sunday 28 July
10am – 4pm

Fully accessible


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