Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Golden Mirror Carousel at the Melbourne National Gallery of Victoria is hard to resist.

We parked the Prius in a parking garage under the National Gallery of Victoria. Along the way, we had picked up a third passenger who is a choreographer. We ordered a bite and coffees at the museum cafe before exploring the exhibits.  When the women went to see the Jean Paul Gautier fashion exhibit, I decided to sketch The Golden Mirror Carousel. It was installed by Carsten Holler and it would only be up a few more days when the Melbourne International Art Festival ended. The Festival is a celebration of dance, theatre, music, circus, visual arts, multimedia, outdoor and free events held for 17 days each October in a number of venues across Melbourne, Australia.

The carousel looks like one of those fast paced swing rides you would find in a carnival. With that ride, the chairs would lift up off the ground and the centrifugal force would make it seem like you were flying. The catch is that it moves at an agonizingly slow pace. A passenger might make a full rotation every 5 minutes or so.  This made sketching tricky since I would sketch passengers when they came around on each turn. Even though the ride moved at a slow pace, tourists and locals couldn't resist getting on board. It was a relaxing ride. The fact that every facet of the ride was gold made it seem opulent and excessive.

Terry explored the fashion exhibit right until the closing time for the museum. The couture fashions were on manikins that had faces projected on them much like you would see in Disney's Haunted Mansion. This gave the exhibit a surreal edge. Another area featured the manikins walking down a runway, just like in a fashion show. The entrance to the museum is a glass wall that has water cascading down its surface outside. Kids can't resit touching the wall of water and interrupting its flow to catch a glimpse inside. At one point there was talk of removing the water fall but locals got up in arms and started a petition. They saved the wall of water so that another generation of children can experience its wonder.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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