Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Weekly Drawing 69: Malcolm

Malcolm riding his tram built from spare parts
Malcolm is a 1986 movie directed by Nadia Tass and written by David Parker. At the time we were living in Melbourne and I was used to seeing American or English movies, which I loved but they never felt as wonderful and familiar as this movie.

Malcolm quickly became one of my favourite childhood heros. A tram entusiast with an amazing imagination. I love his talent for repurposing common objects to make life a little less mundane.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Weekly drawing 67: Dream Museum

 This week's drawing is a tribute the Dream Museum, a toy museum at artist Martin Sharp's home, Wirian, in Sydney's Bellevue Hill.

Martin started the Dream Museum to preserve what was left of Sydney's original Luna Park and then it evolved into becoming a toy museum for children.

In 1979 there was a tragic fire at Luna Park, after which the owners sold off most of the rides. Martin, Peter Kingston and others bought as much as they could afford at an action with the hope that one day Luna Park would be restored to it's original glory. These pieces included carnival murals by Arthur Barton and Fred Schweickle, a River Caves mermaid, a laughing clown, a penny arcade game. Thanks to their foresight most of these pieces have made it back home and can be seen today at Coney Island.

I was lucky enough to enjoy the amazing Dream Museum because my parents had became friends with Martin in the 1980s. It was a room at the far end of Wirian where there were large display cabinets crammed with toys. One contained hundreds of Mickey Mouse figurines. I also remember a old train set which I loved. And It was the first time I ever saw an Asterix figurine.

Every time we visited Martin my big sister and I would play in the Dream Museum. We spent most of our time drawing pictures (to give to Martin) and playing with Smurfs and Star Wars Figurines. Our favourite toy was the Inspector Gadget figurine which had moving parts and gadgets.

Martin and his artist friends created a place which made my childhood even better than it already was. I wanted to illustrate one of the many magic days we enjoyed thanks to Martin creating this place. It was every child's dream environment and it was 'Just for Fun'.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Weekly drawing 66: Skate ramp in the bush at StIves

Anthony and I needed a place to skate so we built a ramp in the bush at St Ives
This weeks drawing is based on my early teens.

When I was 12 years old, my family moved from Melbourne to Sydney. 
Unfortunately for me as a keen skater, Sydney had very few skateparks or ramps.

Thankfully, I'd heard a local rumour some older kids had built a ramp in the bush near my house. The only problem was the ramp had been destroyed a few years ago by a local skinhead with an axe and everybody was scared of him. However, I was sure we could salvage some pieces and make something skateable. I wasn't to sure about the skinhead, but it was worth the risk.

My best mate Anthony Bangel showed me were it was. Then we built a new ramp from bits and pieces we'd found at the spot. After that we skated most afternoons.

I love that we used anything we could get our hands on to make the new ramp such as a DMR road block to support one of the platforms. While the other platform was supported by the actual dirt bank. These were great times.

It was even better that most people from St Ives rarely ventured into the bush to discover our handy work. I actually wish more people in St Ives did venture off the beaten track. They live in an amazing place. At it's best it's a beautiful area of native Sydney bushland, which is also the start of Middle Harbour.