From the moment I made my way down the Perspex-covered, neon lit walkway; complete with strains of ‘Karma Chameleon’ and ‘Thriller’ in the background, I new I was in for some fun! The exhibition celebrates popular culture of the 80s, with a strong Australian emphasis. You can see snippets of ‘Neighbours’ and clothes worn by the shows stars, including Kylie Minogue, and the jacket worn by INXS frontman Michael Hutchins.
The 80s were a time of playing video games and disco dancing, each of which have a strong presence in the exhibition. Lots of kids (and adults) were having lots of fun playing video arcade games that were dotted around the exhibition. Having the activities alongside the exhibits contributed to the energetic, fun feel of the show. You can even dance in cube shaped mock disco. I watched as numerous exhibition goers (many with their young children and claiming disbelief at having lived through the decade)rocked away to strains of 80s pop tunes under the neon lights. If only I had remembered my leg warmers…
Ettore Sottsass for Memphis Designs, 'Carlton' Roomdivider, 1981, Powerhouse Museum
One of my favourite parts of this fun exhibition was a display of a teenage girls bedroom. I’m sure that many of the thirty something in the crowd (and there were a lot of them) had memories of watching ‘Footloose’ and reading dolly come flooding back when looking at the bedroom, complete with cassette tapes and even a ‘Dirty Dancing’ poster on the wall.
‘The 80s Are Back’ is one the best exhibitions I have seen in years! I spent hours making my way through the numerous displays. Entry to the exhibition comes free with the general entrance fee ($10 for adults, $6 for concessions). The powerhouse Museum is in Ultimo, Sydney, right near Darling Harbour, and is open every day from 10am-5pm. It is set to run until late this year. For more information, and to see more great pictures from the exhibition including the ones shown here, check out the website;