Silent Tears @ Murray Art Museum, Albury

Silent Tears is a set of confronting photographs some in black and white in frames on the wall and others on translucent Perspex sheets suspended from the ceiling that enable you to walk among them seeing the photos from both sides.

The work of the photographer Belinda Mason records the experiences of disabled women who are subjected to violence or have become disabled as a result of violence inflicted on them. There is a back story to every photograph that is available in printed materials for sale at the gallery but even without the back story the photos tell a sad story in their silent testimony to misery.

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Memory of the World in Canberra @ Canberra Museum and Gallery

12 Nov 2016 – 19 Mar 2017

The website blurb on this exhibition reads

This exhibition is an opportunity to learn about the long history Canberra shares with the UNESCO Memory of the World Programme for safeguarding documentary heritage.

Discover the rich documentary heritage held in Canberra’s premier cultural institutions and the contribution made to the UNESCO Australian Memory of the World Register by Canberra’s librarians, archivists, curators and conservators. Challenge your understanding of what a ‘document’ is in a display that includes film, music and dance, oral history and digital media.

The exhibition is a rich exploration of lots of historical resources held in various institutions in Canberra. The topics and periods covered range wide. It is a rich collection of fascinating insights and is worth the visit.

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Mirror of the world: books and ideas @ State Library of Victoria

Some places have the capacity to put on unique special exhibitions from their own collections. On a recent visit to Melbourne I caught a State Library of Victoria display titled Mirror of the world: books and ideas. It featured books from early reformation copies of the Bible through to some significant and beautifully created graphic novels.

The books ranged from fairly plain to highly colourful. The objects are often very beautiful to look at and some are historically significant. I love to walk through such exhibitions especially since I teach middle school with all my students using tablets and rarely engaging a book.

Some pics and a web link are below

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Happy Birthday Play School : Celebrating 50 years @ National Museum of Australia

Its Canberra visit closes tomorrow July 24. For such a major part of Australia’s last half century the exhibition is small (surprisingly so). My thinking is that it was done that way so it can tour the nation and be managed by regional galleries.

Everything that a viewer wants to see is in the room. There are sections devoted to Ted, Gemima, the Rocket clock, the windows and heaps of the familiar parts of Play School. The layout enables people to see in real forms the things that have gripped chidren for the last fifty years. They have included a full list of the presenters, story boards, scriipts and many clips supplied on tablets.

This sort of exhibition is an important part of telling the nation’s story to the nation. There are some sample pics below.

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Top Design 2016 @ Melbourne Museum

As a high school teacher there are some types of exhibitions I find particular delight in. Top Design is one of those. It is a display of work done by VCE students in faculties with a design focus in courses such as fashion, marketing and graphic design. The materials on display include portfolios the visitor can look through and product on display such as mock up models for product and items such as clothing and furniture.

It always impresses me that people of 17 or 18 can create such professional looking work and can produce such high levels of technical expertise. I have included below some pics of clothing, woodwork and branding to show the end results of their work in years 11 and 12.

The web page for the exhibition is

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Australian Design Awards 2016 @ Overseas Passenger Terminal – Sydney

A great exhibition in Sydney in May was the display of the award winners of the annual Australian Design competition. The range of materials on display ranged from the very high tech Tesla motor vehicle down to little plastic molds in which you can have vertical garden to green up your apartment. The walk around this exhibition was highly fascinating. Designers are an interesting breed. They all seem to be stimulated by novelty and transformation. I was impressed by appliances,.educational aids for people learning Braille, little constructed nooks for both homes and aircraft. The list is huge but the range was so diverse it kept me wanting more.

Below are some pics of some of the materials on display.

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Magna Carta – An Australian Story @ MOAD Old Parliament House

Eight hundred years is a long time. This year there are lots of things being done to remember the first version of the 1215 Great Charter signed b King John at Runnymeade. Its ideas have been influential in many subsequent social developments as humans have gone closer to democracy and the rule of law..
At the Museum of Australian Democracy there is a delightful little exhibition to trace the major Australian connections to the Magna Carta. There is a great animated film and a developmental set of panels that track through things like the Eureka Stockade, our constitution and the UN Declaration of Human Rights.
These exhibitions are enjoyable as they draw together elements of history, quotes and events in a clarifying ways.
The brochure below gives a set of instructions and a map to help show the other elements of Magna Carta options in the Parliamentary triangle.




Indigenous history @ Museum of Sydney

I love being introduced to Indigenous history of times and locations I already know the English version of. There is a wonderful room in the Museum of Sydney that walks the visitor through some of the people and stories of early Sydney from the point of view of the original occupants rather than the triumphalist English new arrivals. The display has images and names of local indigenous people and explains their experience and reactions to the expanding Anglo population.

The display is clear well written and wonderfully illustrated. I enjoyed reading and seeing this brief retelling of an important story and was glad it is where it is in the Museum.

Some sample pics below:

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Nocturnes in a lapse – Filippo Rivetti @ Customs House Library Circular Quay

The cosmos is awesomely beautiful, The planet is beautiful beyond description. Light is the heart of good photography. Photorgaphic technology now makes great things possible.The time laps photography of Filippo Rivetti brings the four elements above together to produce stunning photographs. The back lit screens at the Customs House Library Circular Quay are the perfect display method for these master works.
Nearly all the shots have a beautiful earth scene in the foreground and using time laps photography a spectaclular record of lights moving in the cosmos completes the picture. Who would have guessed that there was so much light and so much movement un the night sky. It is not helpful to further describe the pictures – track Rivetti’s work down if you have not seen it – it is awesome.
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Magna Carta @ High Court of Australia

What more appropriate location for an exhibition on the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta than the foyer of the High Court of Australia. The exhibition is a fun combination of a replica text with lots of banners with clear text and cartoon story panels.It was also accompanied by some fun models and a wooden panel in which you can take a selfie in a hole – a fun thing.
The exhibition is small but has solid information in it and is not overwhelming to read.
Below are some pics and a copy of the flyer.