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Dream State at State Library brings contemplation and connection to Art After Dark program

Media release

This is an archived media release. Links were correct at the time of publication, but may have changed or expired.

Monday 02 May 2022

State Library Victoria will join five other cultural institutions across Melbourne for Art After Dark: a weekend of visual art installations and live performances, from 6pm to 1am on 13 and 14 May.

The Library is one of three Art After Dark supersites, with special programming called Dream State. The activities in Dream State will transform the Library into an immersive hub of music, performance, meditation and creative activities scattered between the book stacks and across the historic building.

Dream State is designed to evoke reflection and connection and remind all Victorians that the Library is full of inspiration.

State Library Victoria Head of Audience Engagement, Angharad Wynne-Jones said Dream State is a rare opportunity to roam the library after dark and enjoy the Dome as an artistic venue.

“Over the last two years of the pandemic, Victorians have walked beside our rivers, bays and ocean, across our cities and towns, in the bush and in the suburbs, more than ever before. Dream State invites you to reflect on that connection, to stop, look up, and breathe in our iconic building. Let your senses be soothed, your heart warmed and feel time expand as you meander through the Library,” she said.

“People can engage in meditative activities, enjoy roving performers, and discover the healing power of art and literature in drawing, writing and paper craft workshops.

“The highlight is a 15-minute art projection and sound work in the iconic La Trobe Reading Room aka the Dome called Midnight at the Pink Lake. This work is a collaboration between former State Library Fellows The Orbweavers, The Electric Canvas and Gatherer Media.”

Visitors to Midnight at the Pink Lake will take a poetic visual journey through a mystical cityscape and the waterways that flow through and underneath it to the sea. People will encounter nocturnal creatures, flowering plants, birds and a spectacular moonscape. The visual projection will be accompanied by a narrative and soundscape that recall the cycles of the moon and vocalised harmonies, encouraging contemplation, meditation and new beginnings.

A maximum of 300 people can view Midnight at the Pink Lake at one time so with four shows an hour starting at 6pm on Friday and 9pm on Saturday, the Library hopes more than 10,000 people will experience the light and sound show over the Art After Dark weekend.

The Library will also host a range of activities from 6pm-1am on Friday and 9pm-1am on Saturday.

Highlights include:

  •        DJ Emma Peel
  •        State Library postcards, colouring and drawing workshops
  •        Weaving with Veisinia Tonga
  •        Fingerprint spirit animals with Tai Snaith
  •        Lantern Making with Luna Tai
  •        Large Chess Boards
  •        Born in a Taxi doing roving performances
  •        State Library origami and collage workshops

Other participating institutions include Melbourne Museum, ACMI, Arts Centre Melbourne and the NGV.

Art After Dark is a celebration of Melbourne’s creative sector that will aid in the economic recovery of the CBD and strengthen the city’s reputation as the cultural capital of Australia.

For more information and to book a free session go to


(Please note: Midnight at Pink Lake in the La Trobe Reading Room will only be available from
7pm - 1am on Friday 13 May and 9pm - 1am on Saturday 14 May.)