The NGV Triennial exhibition has always been a spectacle, a convergence of art from around the world that never fails to inspire awe and wonder. This year, however, it seems that the ‘wow’ factor has been taken to new heights with the inclusion of Ben Quilty’s works at the Saatchi Gallery. Quilty, known for his bold and emotive pieces, brings a fresh perspective to the Triennial, injecting it with a sense of urgency and depth that promises to captivate audiences like never before.

Walking into the Saatchi Gallery, visitors are immediately greeted by Quilty’s commanding presence. His larger-than-life canvases demand attention, drawing viewers into a world of raw emotion and unfiltered truth. It’s as if each brushstroke carries the weight of a thousand stories, inviting us to delve deeper into the complexities of the human experience.

One of Quilty’s most striking pieces is a series of portraits depicting refugees and asylum seekers. Each face tells a different story – stories of hardship, resilience, and hope against all odds. Through his bold use of color and texture, Quilty brings these narratives to life, reminding us of the humanity that binds us all together, regardless of race, religion, or background.

But it’s not just the subject matter that makes Quilty’s work so compelling; it’s the way he approaches it. His fearless exploration of taboo topics challenges us to confront uncomfortable truths and question our preconceived notions. In a world plagued by division and discord, Quilty’s art serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of empathy and understanding.

As we wander through the gallery, we encounter a diverse array of pieces, each more thought-provoking than the last. From haunting landscapes to intimate portraits, Quilty’s versatility as an artist is on full display, showcasing his ability to tackle a wide range of themes with equal skill and sensitivity.

One particularly striking installation features a series of oversized sculptures crafted from discarded materials. As we gaze upon these towering figures, constructed from the detritus of modern society, we’re forced to confront our own complicity in the environmental crisis facing our planet. It’s a sobering reminder of the impact our actions have on the world around us, and a call to action to do better.

But amidst the darkness, there is also light. Quilty’s work is infused with a sense of hope – a belief that even in our darkest moments, there is always a glimmer of possibility. It’s this optimism that ultimately shines through, reminding us that no matter how dire the situation may seem, there is always room for redemption and renewal.

As we reluctantly tear ourselves away from Quilty’s mesmerizing creations, we’re left with a profound sense of gratitude. Gratitude for the opportunity to bear witness to such powerful art, and gratitude for artists like Quilty who refuse to shy away from the complexities of the human experience.

In the end, the NGV Triennial with Ben Quilty at the Saatchi Gallery isn’t just interesting – it’s essential. It’s a reminder of the transformative power of art, and its ability to challenge, provoke, and inspire us to be better. And as we step back out into the world, we carry with us not only the memories of Quilty’s unforgettable exhibition, but also a renewed sense of purpose and possibility.