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NGV, Shifting Gear: Design Innovation and the Australian Car

Holden 1

GENERAL MOTORS COMPANY, Detroit (manufacturer) United States est. 1908 GM HOLDEN LTD, Adelaide (coachbuilder) est. 1931 Pontiac all-enclosed coupe (Silver Streak) 1938 body designed Hartley Chaplin and Tom Wylie Collection of Violet Cecil, Melbourne

Time to shift into Top Gear to celebrate the future of design and architecture at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) where, for the first time, an Australian art institution will showcase the Australian car industry.

Shifting Gear: Design, Innovation and the Australian Car will be on display at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Federation Square from 6 March 2015 to 12 July 2015.

From the days of the horseless carriage through to today’s refined and most efficient mean machine, this is the story of the designers and engineers who made the car industry in Australia so great.

Muscle cars, racing cars and performance vehicles will be on display alongside ephemera and memorabilia, employed to both uncover the stories behind the scenes and to help celebrate the most compelling moments in the history of Australian automotive design.

Enthusiasts will have a fabulous time.

Rear Pontiac 1938

GENERAL MOTORS COMPANY, Detroit (manufacturer) United States est. 1908 GM HOLDEN LTD, Adelaide (coachbuilder) est. 1931 Pontiac all-enclosed coupe (Silver Streak) 1938 body designed Hartley Chaplin and Tom Wylie Collection of Violet Cecil, Melbourne

Aussie icons like the FJ, the Chrysler Charger, and the Holden Monaro will feature alongside the great Aussie Ute, fair dinkum, an Aussie bloke’s style accessory. The Tarrant Roadster, the first petrol car produced for sale in Australia and demonstrate the remarkable design talents of those who sought to establish a car industry in this country. The  two-seater roadster designed by Harley Tarrant was the first production car built in Victoria and first petrol driven car for sale. Then there isan Elfin Streamliner 1961, an integral part of an ongoing tradition of manufacturing since 1957 at the Elfin Sports Cars Company of Adelaide.

2005 EFIJY concept

GM HOLDEN LTD, Melbourne (manufacturer) est. 1931 Holden Efijy coupe, concept car 2005 designed by Richard Ferlazzo and GM Australia Design Collection of GM Holden Ltd, Melbourne

Tony Ellwood, Director, NGV, said, “Shifting Gear will be the first major exhibition of Australian car design and is exclusive to the NGV. As part of the NGV’s commitment to showcasing design this exhibition will uncover how the modern automobile is far more than simply a means of transport; it is a sophisticated design object that reflects contemporary aesthetics and social values.”

Opening Weekend: The Past Present and Future of Car Design will be under discussion. Such was their success overall that both General Motors-Holden and Ford have retained centres for design excellence in Australia, despite their companies ceasing to manufacture here.

Shifting Gear guest curator Harriet Edquist, Director of the RMIT Design Archives, commented that Australia has an astonishingly vibrant history of ingenious car designs. ‘The exhibition shows the diversity and ingenuity of Australian automobile design…’ said Professor Edquist.

Families and friends will be able to enjoy a great field trip day out together…

2005 Holden Efijy Concept

GM HOLDEN LTD, Melbourne (manufacturer) est. 1931 Holden Efijy coupe, concept car 2005 designed by Richard Ferlazzo and GM Australia Design Collection of GM Holden Ltd, Melbourne

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Veneto – Victoria, Loire – Labassa, Evolution Design & Style

Detail LabassaLabassa is a National Trust Australia (Victoria) house at North Caulfield in Melbourne that is fast becoming a favourite location for filming TV shows, for holding wedding ceremonies and for both professional and private glamour photo shoots. The ABC’s most popular woman detective has been in residence recently.

Labassa’s design style abounds in references to ancient Greece and Rome, while being infused with ornamentation from palazzo’s and villas in the Veneto in the north of Italy, to the chateaux of the Loire in France and from the glories of the English country house. There is also just a dash of nationalism infused at a time when Australia was busily federating for the future.

The National Trust is established in each state of Australia as an independent non-government group of organisations all championing and conserving Australia’s historic heritage.

They are supported by a large volunteer community base as well as sponsorship, donations, memberships and income from fundraiser events.

Before becoming writer and publisher for The Culture Concept Circle at Melbourne, Carolyn McDowall was core lecturer for a renowned Diploma Course: Evolution of Art, Design and Style in both Sydney and Brisbane 1992 – 2005.

Caryatid 2000 at LabassaThis winter she has been invited to present a special six part series by the volunteer Friends of Labassa to assist in their fundraising efforts for National Trust Australia (Victoria).

Carolyn will design the series as an informative enjoyable encounter for participants with the evolution of art, design, music, fashion and style. If you join into this special event you will share fellowship with like-minded enthusiasts of our considerable social and cultural heritage and development.

Tantalising all the senses, the series will be held in the delightful Music Room at Labassa over six days 10:30 am to 2: 00 pm on Wednesday June 3, 10, 17, with a mid term break, and then on July 22, 29 and August 5, 2015.

Appropriately Carolyn will discuss the correlation between music and architecture and how the eternal harmony believed present in nature was reflected for centuries as composers produced amazing melodies that lingered long in lofty places.

Costing for this six-part course includes refreshments on arrival and a catered lunch in the Servants hall. The entire proceeds from those booking the series will be directed towards further restoration work at Labassa by the National Trust Australia (Victoria)

Labassa Detail 5

From the intimate world of the fashionable from classical antiquity to the courts and capitals of Europe and on to Australia today, Carolyn will discuss the many different influences on Labassa’s style development both inside and out, upstairs and down.

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Passionate Pursuits

Fashion Elixir Quick Snippets of Culture Carolyns Conversations

Asides

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