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'.

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