We have been rather neglectful to not fully expand on the wonderful work of Sydney Living Museums and their celebration of Australian Modernism – time to remedy. ‘The Moderns’ is an exhibition and event series delving into Australian design and creativity; the items and the buildings as developed and completed by this county’s most valuable resource; the minds of ‘New Australians’. In the case of Mid-Century Australia, this emerged from a large talent pool within the European diaspora, fleeing war ravaged Europe and political persecution. Intellectuals, writers, designers, free-thinkers – washing up on our beautiful, backwater nation and leading the way into the future, with the support of their compatriots as benefactors, buyers and fans.
“Predominantly well-educated, urbanised and middle class, Sydney’s émigrés brought a direct experience of European modernism then available to few Australians at the time. Supported by a network of European clients and assisted by émigré craftsmen, they made a significant contribution across many fields of design and in the media, and quickly recast the suburban, low-scale city into a modern metropolis”
Though the name of Austrian-born, immigrant Harry Seidler is a well known as an icon of Modernist Australian architecture, many of his contemporaries have been forgotten, or lost in time. The program put together by Sydney Living Museums goes a mighty way in directing our gaze and appreciation into new and thrilling corners of progressive, Mid-Century boundary pushing, casting light on hitherto little known practitioners, our very own people, whose stunning creativity dotted the suburbs, strips and bushland crags of Sydney.
Though much as transpired already in this series of events, we’d remind you all it is on until November, so there is still plenty of time to go for a drive, visit an exhibition or plan that pilgrimage to Sydders and refresh your mind on what you knew, or thought you knew, about Mid-Century Mod in Australia.
“The Modern: European Designers in Sydney” Exhibition at the Sydney Museum, and including various house tours and events at locales around Sydney. On until Sunday 26th November.