Exhibitions and sense of place








A major exercise for this 'ecomuseum' is to develop and present exhibitions. In 2001, the Centenary of Federation, the Living Museum worked with Brimbank City Council to show a beautiful exhibition of the floats in a parade about Federation created by local school children. This was a spontaneous development and a direct response to a local community cultural exercise.

A very different facet of Federation, was 'Australia's Arsenal', (opened November 2001) a major exhibition about the munitions industry, funded by the Centenary of Federation Authority, and focussing on the history of three major factories in the area. This exhibition also involved members of the community, including senior personnel from each of the three factories. The exhibition took more than a year of solid research and workshops to produce and has proved one of the most significant exhibitions produced by the Museum. 'Australia's Arsenal' outlines technical developments in munitions as they were developed in Australia, relates these to the local area and combines this with social comments drawn from many oral histories drawn from interviews with workers in the industry. Audio-visuals, based on archival film footage from the Australian War Memorial, were a key attraction within the exhibition.

Throughout the year and throughout Victoria, Raelene Marshall organised more workshops with regional communities as part of her exhibition project, 'A stone upon a stone'. She has worked hard on researching the cultural heritage of that most basic icon, the dry stone wall. This project, funded by Visions Australia, is a good example of how community participation in the study of an important feature of the western region 'ecomuseum', the dry stone wall, is appropriately taken outside the geographical parameters.

Through a RETI grant, Helen Laffin developed an exhibition brief on the theme of environmental activism in Melbourne's west.

The exhibition 'From the Steps of Bonegilla' came from the Albury Regional Museum. Many western suburbs residents spent their first few months in Australia at Bonegilla. At the opening, several women mentioned their fond memories of the camp.

The Museum facilitated the transport of the work of several Melbourne contemporary artists to Croatia for an important show about Australian art. This came about because of links developed over several years with museum people in Croatia who have visited the Living Museum in Melbourne.


Annual Report 2001 - Homepage