Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Bizarre Whimsy – The Tim Burton Exhibition


Having the day off work yesterday, it being a day of miserable early spring weather, freezing cold and occasionally wet, I decided to spend the afternoon at the Tim Burton Exhibition that is currently showing at the ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image) in Federation Square. The exhibition is a loan from MOMA, New York, and is a celebration of the work of the multi talented film maker and artist Tim Burton.

My interest in Tim Burton was sparked by watching a DVD of his film Big Fish that was given me recently by a friend on my birthday. A delightful film it turned out to be, somewhat reminiscent of John Crowley’s novel Little, Big.

The exhibition was comprehensive and covered Burton’s early days in his home town of Burbank to his later work.

Just before the entrance to the show, was the Batmobile from his film Batman Returns…


…and the entrance itself was decorated extravagantly.

There were a great many examples of his paintings, drawings and puppet marquets for various films. There was one of Edward Scissorhands hands, Robotboy, a Martian from Mars Attacks, a fantastic Carousal in the Burtonarium (an immersive black light environment at the centre of the exhibition), and costumes from Alice in Wonderland, Planet of the Apes, Batman masks, Catwoman’s costume, an angora sweater from the movie Ed Wood and Sweeney Todd’s razors. And this macabre blue baby in a glass case.


Snippets of his famous films were playing on big and small screens throughout the exhibition space – Beetlejuice, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Ed Wood, Mars Attacks!, Batman Returns, The Corpse Bride and Alice in Wonderland as well as several early obscure works. There were also drawings and artefacts for Stain Boy, Oyster Boy and Toxic Boy.

A magical mystery tour of Burtonian wonders, macabre whimsy, and visual delights, I was enchanted by it all and emerged a wiser woman, having developed a warm appreciation for Burton’s genius.

I only managed to take a few photos (as above) as photography was forbidden in the exhibition itself.

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