About the Project

First Commissions is an exhibition that demonstrates the power of artistic minds and the enduring role that art plays in reflecting the intellectual, moral and cultural climate of our time.

This online gallery features 30 of the University of Melbourne’s most exciting emerging artists. Each has responded to themes which have inspired some of the world’s most iconic works. Yet, none were aware of their given artwork’s provenance.

Spanning new media, choreography, classical music, interactive composition, visual art, musical theatre, animation and film, the works collectively pose the question: how have the universal themes that influence and shape society evolved over time?

Launched in Florence, at the feet of Michelangelo’s David, First Commissions begins with five artists responding to the same brief – to create a vision of human perfection.