Monday, October 11, 2010

Tim Burton exhibition....

It's just over a week since we returned home from our holiday in Melbourne and the Grampians. Guy and I planned this trip way back last year when we found out that the Tim Burton exhibition was coming to ACMI. Being a borderline obsessive when it comes to his films, I have to say that this was THE most greatly anticipated exhibition I've ever attended.
It did not disappoint.
On the contrary, there was so much to see in this enormous collection of artwork, film, costume, models, notebooks, props etc, etc, it was often overwhelming....but in a very good way.
I was a little put off initially by the huge crowds of people but in actuality the slow-moving snake of visitors lining the gallery walls kept my excitement level in check and prevented me from running around like a maniac from one object to another. As it was, I was trying very hard not to look ahead to see what was coming up and so was surprised and delighted every few minutes! There was ample time to examine each piece in glorious detail.
While the big, drawcard pieces (costumes from "Alice", Batman, Edward Scissorhands etc.) were wonderful (Alice's shoes and the Mad Hatter's hat were particular favourites of mine), it was the smaller individual pieces, in particular the drawings and personal notebooks and letters, which gave me the most joy and the most insight. To see Tim's progression through his early years with the influences of Dr Suess, MAD Magazine and illustrators such as Gerald Scarfe and Ralph Steadman (other favorites of mine) was fascinating and certainly something I could relate to personally, having grown up on these same influences myself.
There were also a large number of models built by Rick Heinrichs which were beautiful even in their decay (I thought my heart was going to beat right out of my chest when I saw the puppets of 'Vincent' and the long-suffering Abercrombie wearing the experimental headgear!) and the puppets for 'Corpse Bride', built by Mackinnon & Saunders were, without a doubt, some of the most exquisite objects I have ever seen.
Overall, it was the sheer volume of work by this man who is only a couple of years older than me, that was most inspiring. People like to imagine that to be an artist means that you must exist in a continual state of inspiration and creativity. That may be true for some (lucky them!),
but for most of us inspiration is minor compared to the amount of actual work that needs to be done to realise those precious ideas. Tim Burton has done the hard yards. He's weathered rejection, criticism and the worst kind of 'art snobbery' to bring to fruition his unique vision of an imperfect and totally fascinating world. It's plain, if the huge attendance numbers for this exhibition are anything to go by, that this is an artist who connects with people on a very human level. He certainly does with me.
(Sadly, cameras weren't allowed inside the exhibition, so the photos above are all I have to show.)
Till next time.