Kylie On Stage Tour

Ever wondered what it takes to send an exhibition on tour? In this behind-the-scenes post, you can get a glimpse of staff from the Performing Arts Collection busily preparing Kylie On Stage for tour.

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Gold boots and stiletto heels worn by Kylie Minogue in the On A Night Like This tour packed into their travelling box with custom inserts to prevent movement and damage while travelling.

The Kylie On Stage exhibition wrapped up in January and is now being meticulously prepped and packed for a regional tour to the Mildura Arts Centre, Geelong Gallery, Ararat Regional Art Gallery and La Trobe Regional Gallery in 2017 and 2018. The exhibition allowed visitors to explore the creative processes behind the costumes and production of Kylie Minogue’s concert tours, but for the objects themselves, the show doesn’t end when the exhibition lights go dark. Instead, a team of registrars, curators, conservators and other museum professionals go to work preparing each object for travel to the next exhibition venue.

This lengthy process involves careful photography and documentation to record the condition of each object, creation of handmade supports, and fitting out or building customised boxes to fit complex objects such as headdresses. Exhibition objects risk damage ranging from packing materials and handling through to vibration caused by transport vehicles, so each one is carefully packed with conservation grade materials and dedicated supports to provide the best possible protection. The intricacy of the craftsmanship on many of the Kylie On Stage costumes has inspired clever solutions to protect delicate beading, diamantés and fabrics. Photos of the packing process are then used to guide installation and prevent handling-related damage during unpacking at the next venue.

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Fitting custom supports in a box tray to support a headdress.

While all objects are treated with the utmost care, sometimes you can’t avoid having a particular favourite. Some of the team’s favourite items from the packing process include a pair of yellow Dolce & Gabbana stilettos worn in the encore of Kylie’s 2002 KylieFever tour, a kimono-style mini dress worn in Act Five of the X2008 tour, and two pairs of gold shoes worn in the On A Night Like This tour (2000/2001). Shoes and accessories are not always very visible in performance, so being able to see the detail and craftsmanship of smaller items in the collection up close is a particular privilege.

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A standard box which has been fitted out with customised foam and Tyvek supports for a pair of shoes worn by Kylie Minogue in the encore of her 2002 Fever Tour.

Visitors can look forward to getting their own close-up view of these and all the other objects featured in Kylie On Stage when it arrives in Mildura this August. To learn more about the exhibition and regional tour, visit Kylie On Stage or explore the Kylie Minogue Collection online through the Arts Centre Melbourne website.

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Left: The textile conservator fits a padded Tyvek belt around the Jean Paul Gaultier bodysuit worn in Act Six of the Kiss Me Once 2015 tour.
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The bodysuit also has a fitted internal support to preserve its shape and prevent crushing of structural decorative elements.
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PAC curatorial and collection management staff pack the silver crystal-mesh costume worn by Kylie during Act One of the KylieFever tour in 2002.

Beatlemania!

What does the music of The Beatles mean to you? Do you remember Beatlemania in Australia? What is your favourite Beatles song?

We’ve been asking these questions of visitors to our current exhibition, The Beatles in Australia. It’s been wonderful to read through all the comments that have come flooding in. From people who attended the 1964 concerts to people weren’t born until decades later, it appears that Beatlemania is still alive and well in Melbourne today!

We’d love to hear about your experiences too – leave a comment here or head to Arts Centre Melbourne’s Facebook page to join in the conversation.

 

 

 

The Beatles In Australia

The Beatles In Australia exhibition, Arts Centre Melbourne. Photograph by Jim Lee
The Beatles In Australia exhibition, Arts Centre Melbourne. Photograph by Jim Lee
Noel Tresider played the organ with The Phantoms, the band that backed Australian support acts Johnny Devlin and Johnny Chester. Photograph by Jim Lee.
Noel Tresider played the organ with The Phantoms, the band that backed Australian support acts Johnny Devlin and Johnny Chester. Photograph by Jim Lee.
Guests of honour, Glenn A. Baker and Molly Meldrum. Photograph by Jim Lee
Guests of honour, Glenn A. Baker and Molly Meldrum. Photograph by Jim Lee

This week we proudly opened ‘The Beatles In Australia’ exhibition, the result of a two year collaboration between Arts Centre Melbourne’s Performing Arts Collection and the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney. The exhibition celebrates the 50th anniversary of The Beatles one and only tour of Australia in 1964  and presents the sights and sounds of Beatlemania — the arrivals, the press conferences, the concerts and the screaming fans – through newsreel footage, television reports, radio coverage, fan letters, magazines and press clippings.

So far the response has been overwhelmingly positive as visitors have streamed into the centre to re-live the heady days of 1964 or to find out what all the fuss was about. One of the great highlights of the exhibition is the opportunity to explore many of the original documents kept by Australian promoter Kenn Brodziak. Now part of Arts Centre Melbourne’s Performing Arts Collection, these handwritten and typed letters, notes, telegrams and documents provide a fascinating glimpse into intense planning undertaken in the days and weeks leading up to The Beatles’ arrival in Australia. The fan experience is also well represented with a diverse range of early Beatles merchandise, handmade signs, diaries and scrapbooks sourced from both collecting institutions sitting alongside memorabilia and memories elicited from fans and private collectors.

So come in and be seduced by the Fab Four all over again or head to The Beatles In Australia exhibition website for further information or Arts Centre Melbourne’s Facebook page to join in the conversation.

The Beatles In Australia

Gallery I, Arts Centre Melbourne

8 March – 1 July 2014

9am – late daily

FREE

Final days!

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Costumes from ‘The Diary of a Madman’ and ‘Exit the King’ on display in the exhibition

Hurry! Time is running out for Melburnians to see The Extraordinary Shapes of Geoffrey Rush before it closes on 3 November.

We will be sad to say goodbye to this fascinating exhibition celebrating one of Australia’s best-known and most-respected actors. Featuring costumes, photographs, moving image and personal items, the exhibition highlights roles created by Geoffrey Rush in plays including Exit the King, The Diary of a Madman and The Importance of Being Earnest, and in films such as Shine, Quills, Pirates of the Caribbean and The King’s Speech.

The following two weeks will be a very busy time for the Performing Arts Collection staff as we bump out The Extraordinary Shapes of Geoffrey Rush and install a new exhibition hot on its heels…stay tuned for details, because it’s going to be a real stunner!

The Extraordinary Shapes of Geoffrey Rush
Arts Centre Melbourne, Gallery 1
Until 3 November 2013
Open daily, 9am till late
Free

Celebrating John Truscott

'Celebrating John Truscott' at Arts Centre Melbourne
‘Celebrating John Truscott’ at Arts Centre Melbourne

Featuring the Academy Awards won by John Truscott for CamelotCelebrating John Truscott is a free exhibition celebrating the life of the esteemed  designer at Arts Centre Melbourne’s Smorgon Family Plaza from 5 September to 6 November 2013.

John Truscott’s extraordinary contribution to the arts both here and overseas is widely acknowledged today. A leading pioneer of Australian stage design, Truscott’s high standards and versatility allowed him to work across many art forms, including theatre, dance, musical comedy, film and opera. Arts Centre Melbourne’s Performing Arts Collection holds close to 300 items that chart Truscott’s rapid journey from the local stage to international stardom.

Born in Melbourne on 23 February 1936, Truscott embarked on a career in the theatre at an early age. His first design commission was A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the National Theatre Movement in 1954. His long association with the Melbourne Little Theatre (later St Martin’s Theatre Company) began in 1957, and as resident designer, Truscott designed close to eighty productions during his six years with the company. He also began to make inroads into large-scale musical theatre with designs for productions such as Garnet H. Carroll’s The King and I (1961).

Truscott’s work for the J.C. Williamson Theatres Ltd production of Camelot (1963) led to an invitation to design the Hollywood film version of Camelot, released in 1967, and for which he received two Academy Awards. Two years later Truscott was also nominated for Best Art Direction for the feature film Paint Your Wagon (1969), starring Clint Eastwood.

After fourteen years overseas, Truscott was enticed back to Australia in 1978 to design Mozart’s Idomeneo for the Victoria State Opera and Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers a year later. In 1980 he began designing the interiors of the Melbourne Concert Hall (now Hamer Hall). In a career full of highlights, the interiors of Arts Centre Melbourne are perhaps his most lasting and heart-felt achievement. On completion of the Theatres building which officially opened on 29 October 1984, Truscott headed back to Los Angeles. In 1988 he returned to Australia as creative consultant to Brisbane’s World Expo.

In 1989, Truscott took over as Artistic Director of the Melbourne Spoleto Festival with a view to ‘do something that hasn’t happened in Melbourne before’. He created a carnival atmosphere and decorated the city he loved with lights, fountains and flowers. At the time of his death on 5 September 1993 Truscott was back at Arts Centre Melbourne as the government appointed artist-in-residence and was helping to refurbish the building for its 10th anniversary.

The Extraordinary Shapes of Geoffrey Rush

We’re pleased to share that our latest exhibition, The Extraordinary Shapes of Geoffrey Rush, is now open in Gallery 1 at Arts Centre Melbourne! Thank you to everyone who has attended to date, it has been fantastic to see you enjoying the costumes, photographs and film clips on display.

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Geoffrey Rush as King Berenger in Exit the King, 2009
Photograph by Hugh Hartshorne

Geoffrey Rush is one of Australia’s best-known and most respected actors. Throughout his prolific and distinguished career he has earned international acclaim for his work on both stage and screen. This exhibition reflects on his many achievements to date and explores his ability to inhabit characters through a remarkable physical and verbal dexterity.

Featuring costumes, photographs, moving image and personal items, the exhibition highlights roles created by Geoffrey Rush in plays including Exit the King, The Diary of a Madman and The Importance of Being Earnest, and in films such as Shine, Quills, Pirates of the Caribbean and The King’s Speech.

Have you visited The Extraordinary Shapes of Geoffrey Rush? What did you enjoy most? We’d love to hear from you!

Arts Centre Melbourne, Gallery 1
From 6 July – 27 October
Open daily, 9am till late
Free