Melbourne Open House #3

July is an exciting time in our fair city – Open House Melbourne weekend means we get to explore all sorts of buildings we wouldn’t get to see normally. I always find it hard to narrow down my list, but managed to get to a few places. Here are some snaps (as you’ll see, I found it hard to narrow down my photos!).
First stop – City of Melbourne Art and Heritage collection. This is where all sorts of things relating to Melbourne get stored, especially if they don’t fit in the Town Hall. Things like robes and crazy hats for the Moomba monarch…

… Mayoral robes…

… Paraphernalia used in the filming of TV mini series The Pacific, set during WWII…

… An actual poster that was put up during WWII for the benefit of US troops stationed here:

In brothels only though!

Other stuff from around the city…

…including street signs from our most famous thoroughfares…

… And a special greeting for Nelson Mandela…

… and clumps of gloriously gold buttons from some uniform…

We also went to the Phillips shirt factory, which looks straight out of the 1960s, which is when it first started operations. It’s still in use today.

There were rows upon rows of fabric rolls waiting to be made into shirts…

… and stacks of unopened boxes containing shirts from the 70s and probably even longer ago than that… 

Nearly the entire upper floor was full of boxes of clothes, which Emma (self-described “Girl Friday” and the guide in this photo) is gradually sorting through. I’m not at ALL envious…!!

Some of the clothes are being sold in the Phillips Archive shop, so if you’re into retro gear, pay them a visit!

The last stop was the Australian Tapestry Workshop. The workshop is open to the public all the time, but you can usually only view the works from the mezzanine level, like this.

On the day we visited, you could get right up close to see works like this – a John Wolseley painting created in tapestry.

Here are some of the birds in the work:

With all the thread that gets used, there are a lot of bobbins lying around. Volunteers come in once a month to clean things up and package the leftover threads to sell to the public. Now that’s a volunteer job I’d never thought of before!

One of the weavers is working on this huge piece for the Epping hospital …


 It’s amazing how well paintings translate to tapestry – this is a work by an indigenous artist, I think for a commission but I’ve forgotten where it will end up.

The workshop also has a little shop selling books, cards, and a LOT of different colours of thread!

I happened to be in the city after all the Open House buildings had closed, so I got some shots of the newly re-opened Hamer Hall (the glowing blue building next to the Arts Centre spire). How pretty it looks!!

Dame Edna Everage is doing a farewell tour at the moment so there’s a temporary installation of giant gladioli out the front of the Arts Centre right now in tribute.

It’s simply called Bouquet. I loved it so I got a bit carried away with the photos! The “gift tag” on it says “Victoria take a bow”.

If only I had the cash, I’d buy this installation and put it in my backyard. But seeing as I’m struggling just to buy an apartment, I’ll just have to enjoy it while it’s in the city.

I hope you enjoyed my little Open House tour of Melbourne. If you have an Open House program in your city, DO NOT MISS IT!!

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