Rain, hail or shine (well, perhaps not hail)- the Collector’s Sidewalk Show shall go on! As grey & wet as it is today I am sure that it will be lovely tomorrow. We will be posting on Facebook, twitter & website if it must be postponed until next week!
Bring all your things! For sale, swap, up-cycle, free-cycle, to look & admire. Like-minded collectors & passers-by join us for serious amateur discussion & a sausage sizzle & coffee. Remember: your collection does not need to be expensive, it does not need to be of the norm, it simply must be what you are mysteriously drawn to. If you are too shy to bring your treasured box of rabbit foot key rings then bring yourself & curiosity. Can’t wait to see you there!
If you are unable to check online please call Hannah (0423 115 603) or Leah (0423 645 615) to check.
As a way to encourage people’s interactivity with museums and to ignite excitement & justify one’s own collections (amateur as they may be), in the 90s museums began to hold ‘The People’s Show’. This was a form of public exhibition where everyday people could bring their own treasured collections to the local museum and show them off to other like-minded collectors and passer-by’s.
As my extensive collections at The Society inc. have often been referred to as a treasure trove I have decided that it would be the perfect place to hold a People’s Show. All of my favourite artists and friends will bring along their favourite collections, and you can bring some of your treasures as well! Items will be available for sale or for swap. Or just to show off if you can’t bear to part with it. Your collection does not need to be expensive, it does not need to be normal, but it must be what you are mysteriously drawn to.
Just like our fleamarkets, we’re setting up shop on the footpath! We’re going to take it a step further with our People’s Show: bring a blanket, fill your carboot with goods and open your trunk toward the shop. The Society inc. Collector’s Sidewalk Show is all about generating discussion and conversation- a modern day collector’s salon.
Come along- bring your stuff to swap, sell, show-off & discuss with other like-minded people! BYO
8am-Midday, September 10
18 Stewart St, Paddington, 2021
9.15am flight from SYD, such a nice & friendly time.
I arrive by cab to Melbourne Museum at 11.30am to meet with the Manager of Collections (of birds, mammals & eggs), Wayne Longmore.
I had coordinated this appointment with some trouble to view the H. L. White collection that was donated by the Whites of Belltrees in the 1920s. Supposedly there was some break down of relationship with the Museum of Sydney & White had his purpose built cabinet bullock-ed to Victoria as a result of the dispute.
The H. L. White collection is made up of an impressive all Australian bird skin & egg cluster collection, all housed in custom built cabinetry. The egg clusters contained in oak cabinets about 1.4 metres high & perhaps the same across, are individually carved with the alphabet A – H. The letters are carved on a shield & surrounded by wings & feathers allowing White his classifying & cataloguing system. His collection was maintained by curator, Sid Jackson.
The eggs are kept in the cluster, as collected, protected in cotton wool & contained in open boxes. They are then nestled together by bird specimen in a pull out glass covered drawer. Look at the picture of the amazing Jacana eggs- stripey & squiggly they remind me of a Cy Twombley! The ledger, impressive & beautifully heavy in itself, is kept in the bottom drawer of H. L White’s cabinet & indicates the whereabouts of where each egg was found.
The bird skins are no longer housed in the original black cabinets made for them. Other than difficulty with preservation, they were very cramped & needed airtight storage to maintain them (i.e. keep the bugs out!). They are now in large airtight black vaults (powder coated in black as a nod to White’s original cabinets) and consist of drawers that are laid out with the bird skins by species.
A birdskin is not mounted. They are stuffed with cotton wool or tow and quietly stitched generally on their chest, but this can vary. They lie flat & display the name of collectors & collections they have belonged to & in.
White did not only obtain his skins & eggs personally climbing trees with his slingshot (he may not have done this), but bought from other collectors. Each specimen is labelled with where, when & who and then again when it reached the White collection. White had labels made for consistency that were approximately 10cm in length & 3cm in diameter, with room for details. I love the romance of the handwritten notes in ink, the different papers used for labels as well as their shape & size.
After a fascinating visit into the vaults of Melbourne Museum, I ventured through the fern gully (oh so appropriate seeing my book of choice for the flight was ‘The Victorian Fern Craze’). I had heard there was a bowerbird & bower within but could not locate it, although the brightly coloured fairy wrens darting around were a lovely distraction.
Through the dinosaur walk, the the ‘Wild’ exhibit. A glorious, stopped exhibit of mounted taxidermy animals from around the world. Although I adore a diorama, this was as though visiting a minimal version of Imperato’s Cabinet of Curiosity from the 14th Century…A flying squirrel eyeballs you from the top viewing platform; a long legged wading bird peers with curiosity from a great height; bears, bats, zebras, kangaroos & wild cats are amongst the menagerie tiered floor to ceiling, flying overhead & mounted to the walls. You gotta go!
A cab to check out Hermes’ new windows on Collins St showcasing my good friend, Anna Wili’s equine masks & mounts. They were originally made for an Hermes party held in Sydney, just for display & to be worn. I so want one of the horse full-masks for my next masked ball.
Across the way to Flinders Lane to Cumulus. I always enjoy what Arc One has on show so I slipped in before lunch & viewed the Robbie Rowlands show, ‘The Gardener’. 3D art & sculpture using found objects relating to backyards & gardens, given a new view & life. An old hills hoist becomes a giant swimming octopus- just like the one I saw in a Greek documentary last week.
I last dined at Cumulus with my BFF Donna Hay & the Masterchef crew. As an often lone traveller, I appreciate the restaurants that offer a choice of seating & eating options: take away, dining, at the open kitchen/bar or just casual high. I sit at the marble bar where there is a hook for my bag. A copy of broadsheets are placed next to me if I so please to read & half serves of plates are offered- I am delighted & surprised.
My meal: Mineral German Riesling
Half serve of salad greens with dill (under-rated herb) & radish
Half serve of tuna tartare: generous cubes of sashimi tuna served on smashed peas, yoghurt & mint
Quick skip across to Collins to Haighs for a bag of freckles (dark chic ones now available but for me, it’s milk) & on my way to the airport for my 3.15pm flight.
A perfect day.
Long legged wetland wading birds fascinate me. Flamingos for examples, other than they are pink because they eat so much shrimp (cool fact or is it fiction?) are the most amazing looking creatures & they can fly. I have felted ones at the shop at present, along with a menagerie of other creatures & critters from an American artist.
I recently viewed this beautiful wetland, full of crazy long-legged birds to be transfixed by (yes, I am on sabbatical at present). It is time to incorporate wading birds into your interiors, through the wish listed Meret Oppenheim’s 1939 table, Chicago’s Jayson Home new range of candlesticks or a Fiona Hall piece that I first saw exhibited at the Museum of Sydney forever ago! Or just some random cast feet from Swallow, Brooklyn. Go check out the wading birds in the Louis Vuitton windows in Sydney CBD!