Icons @ Powerhouse Museum

Icons and iconography is an on going discussion in our society. It is fought over and keeps changing. The Sydney Powerhouse has an exhibition of objects that the curators think will facilitate the discussion of icons around six themes – luxury, celebrity, status, spirituality, value and genius

Under those themes they have included inventions, clothing, furniture, toys and many other categories. The diversity of the choices is delightful to get viewers to think through this issue. There is cultural and historical diversity within the objects. I have included some examples from the exhibition below.


Love is – Australian wedding fashion @ Powerhouse Museum Sydney

Until 22 April 2018

The Powerhouse Museum in Sydney does a fabulous job of focusing on design. This exhibition gives a charming insight into the changes in design and thinking about the clothing worn as people go through wedding ceremonies in Australia over the last couple of centuries.

One entry walks you through the early European examples of wedding dresses. They are generally full length and pale in colour but there are strong colours present. The fascinating overlay is the indigenous music playing in the background.

The rest of the exhibition walks you through lots of sumptuously created clothing which culminates in a display of examples of wedding clothes inspired by several cultures represented within the Australian community. I loved one that was made in the colours of the Aboriginal flag.

Pics below give a partial insight into the riches on display.


Student Fashion @ Powerhouse Museum

Until October 8 2017

This exhibition is one of those delightful small displays of recent creative fashion product from student fashion designers. The items on display include great use of shape, fabric, colour and layout. The details of the creatives and some comment are on the web page below and I have included some pics.


College Express 8 @ Belconnen Arts Centre

9 December 2016 15 January 2017

Over 100 works of art chosen for display from the work done in eight northside Canberra Colleges during 2016 have been on display for a month. It is awesome to see the skills and creativity on display and the range of media was fun to behold.

There is abstract and realist, there is functional and fun, there are multi part and recycled works of art. Some students have several works on display and it is helpful that the gallery supplies a sheet with the names and schools of each work on display.

There are lots of works with social comment embedded in them and others are a huge display ofskill and artistry with specific media.

I have included some pics and gallery material below.

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The Sell – Australian Advertising 1790s – 1990s @ National Library of Australia

The National Gallery does great work in historical retrospectives of elements of Australian life. The current exhibition is a classic. It streams from the first printed advertisement printed in Sydney in the early 19790s the end of the 20th century.

These detailed histories draw on vast collections available in the NLA  There are remarkable early newspapers, there are gorgeous travel posters, there are printers stages for posters, there is a set of Redheads match box covers over a few decades showing their changes and style differences.

One sad omision is the creative approaches to cigarette advertising. While it is illegal now during its life it was a truly stunningly creative part of advertising. In this large show there is one Paul Hogan ad and two anti cigarette works.

I am amazed that the National Library has this no photographs policy. Nearly all this stuff is theirs or ours and is out of copyright. Lots of the rest is out on the internet. No pictures here an not much support on the website of this remarkable coverage of a significant element of Australian history.



Athol Shmith – Fashion Photographs @ National Library of Australia

26 November 2016- 16 July 2017

The blurb for this exhibition reads

Elegant, bold and often experimental, Melbourne photographer Athol Shmith (1914–1990) worked in fashion, theatre, advertising and portraiture for decades. Shmith’s have been called ‘perhaps the finest of all Australian fashion photographs’. He is said to have directed every aspect of a shoot, whether at his studio at the ‘Paris end’ of Collins Street, at friends’ houses or outdoors. Much of his work was for Melbourne boutiques Le Louvre and La Petite, as well as for Myer.

In 1979, Shmith gave the Library a large collection of his prints, negatives and transparencies. Most are fashion photographs and came with few details on why or when they were taken. He later visited the Library and identified many of the models.

This small exhibition, drawn entirely from the Library’s collections, showcases his fashion photography. https://www.nla.gov.au/exhibitions/athol-shmith-fashion-photographs

The collection of photographs are truly remarkable. The poses, the clothes, the models,  all speak of high quality design and creativity and excellent use of light. Every picture posed against vacant or stunning backgrounds is a credit to the art of black and white fashion photography. A great collection of artistry.

Below are some naughty phone snaps to give you the vibe of his remarkable works,

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Emerging – Radford College Student Exhibition @ Belconnen Arts Centre

9 November – 4 December 2016

Radford College is a big school and this exhibition reflects a big group of developing artists. The exhibition has a great range from fashion to woodwork, pottery photography and painting. The students demonstrate high levels of skills and creativity. Below is a selection of pics from the different types of creativity that was on display.

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