Sunday, 20 April 2008

footscray fortune garden

We attended the opening yesterday afternoon of Elaine Su-Hui Chew's 'The Footscray Fortune Garden'. The exhibition is an installation garden, constructed entirely from two-dollar shop plastic flowers and plants, all purchased in Footscray. You can wander around the 'garden' or stop for a bit on one of the plastic stools provided. There are questions about nature and symbolism, abundance and fantasy, identity and transience but mostly it's about happiness. walking into the gallery puts a smile on your face - highly recommended.

We were a bit hesitant about letting baby bear loose on the installation for fear that she might engage in some overzealous pruning but our fears were unfounded - she completely ignored the flowers and plants and instead was fascinated by the plastic stools. She worked out that they were stackable and ran around the room, gathering all the stools and making one great stack (or at least attempting to). As this defied half the point of stopping to sit and look we did have to contain her in the end.

Photographs from
here and here on the Trocadero Art Space website.

I have to admit - I think that it was the first time that I had ever been to Footscray, which is probably even closer to the city than Balaclava
... but on the other side. Anyway, it was fascinating - incredible mix of people and cultures and shops, bustling and alive. It's so easy to forget that you don't have to travel far for a completely new experience, that in your own city there are always places to discover. Also highly recommended.

1 comment:

delamare said...

What an interesting coincidence Amelia. I have just started reading "Unpolished Gem' by Alice Pung, a memoir of a Chinese/Cambodian family set in Footscray. One of the early chapters is about the Asian love for plastic flowers, brightly coloured and cheap ornaments and other happy things to have about the house.